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Here is my problem. Just because they can jump high, run fast and catch a ball, why are they considered role models? What are they doing for the greater good of the planet?
Athletes shouldn't be put to that type of standard. Just because you're good at a sport and people post your face on shoe and cereal boxes doesn't mean they should be a role model.
This goes for actors and musicians, too.
People that make a real difference in lives, Nobel Peace Prize winners, esteemed authors... examples like that.
I totally agree with what you are saying and the point regarding the "quality" (for lack of a better word at this moment) of the individual that you would like our youth to look up to.
But I think we need to look at it from a realistic point of view. Our youth has a very firm grip on what the consider "cool" My word but what the hell I'm 60). Regardless of what we want, our youth continue to emulate the behavior of those they idolize. For that reason alone, I think that our athletes need to be cognizant of that fact and hold themselves to as high of standard as they are personally capable. And, I think several of the Pacers do just that.