Athletes as role models

KD Assists a Local OKC Family (courtesy of kevindurant35.com)

Are athletes really role models? The Pope says yes, and Charles Barkley says no.

Right now, my answer is no. Of course, participating in illegal activity, showboating or getting arrested is NOT what athletes should aspire to be.

But athletes can be role models. If they choose to take accept that honor.

Kevin Durant is the perfect example of a role model. He’s a great athlete (3x NBA Scoring Champion), he gives back to his community and he’s so grateful for where he’s come from and where he’s going. But, of course, he’s an anomaly.

He doesn’t have to be.

Parents are supposed to be the no. 1 role model in a child’s life. But think about who kids see on TV every day? Who are some of the biggest topics in news? I’ve gotten CNN Breaking News alerts after the Super Bowl, NBA Finals and NCAA Men’s and Women’s Championship games.

And if there isn’t a game being played, athletes are being interviewed on shows or asking to guest host. Athletes are celebrities – they are everywhere. We can no longer pretend what children see on TV doesn’t affect them at all. We can no longer pretend that most kids growing up don’t want to be the next baller in the NBA or NFL (whether that’s what we want or not).

With that said, I’m calling on athletes to better themselves to help the children that are growing up after them. I’m calling on the media to cover more than the scandals that happen in the leagues (not saying they shouldn’t cover them at all). And I’m calling on fans, to care more than what car an athlete drives or what club he hits up after games. I’m calling on you to care about what good he’s doing.

Athletes should a page from the likes of Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and other stars in professional sports. Every summer NFL and NBA stars hosts summer camps for children (some of them free). The newspapers and TV networks should highlight that and fans should share it.

I’m not saying people shouldn’t care about what the athlete does on the court or field, but sometimes it’s bigger than the game.

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