Youth view athletes as role models


Sports Columnist Tyler Simons

It’s no understatement to say that sports take a large role of importance in today’s society, whether it be for entertainment, social movements, or inspiration to others. Especially in America, professional athletes are given a special spotlight to the youth and are seen as these indestructible beings who have ideal lives. This viewing of athletes by society leads to children constantly looking up to them, sometimes more than their own parents.

  As in any situation, there are good arguments both for and against idolizing athletes like this. No family is completely ideal and often times children, especially young boys, need role models to show them how to act and carry themselves. Not only does looking up to these athletes show children the benefits of hard work in life, but being involved in sports saves many lives, especially so for youth in at-risk areas. In times of youth where outside influences impact the mindset and choices of kids, it is more important than ever to have a positive role model to provide inspiration.

  That being said, athletes are human, too, regardless of how high the pedestal is that society puts them on. Drug use, violence and obscene language are things that many athletes come into the public eye for and are often more widespread by the media than the good that they do. Easily influenced children don’t need to be looking up to these types of men and women, but those who benefit society instead, through things such as charitable donations and time put into helping the community.

  I believe that having an athlete as a role model for a young child depends on who the athlete is and the life of the child at home. In the end, it doesn’t matter if a child’s role model is a celebrity, athlete, or a politician. What makes a good role model is how they benefit society and show present themselves to others, regardless of occupation.