Athletes Are Bad Role Models
June 05, 2023

Why Professional Athletes Are Not Always Good Role Models for Young People

As we navigate the complex world of influence, we must scrutinize where our inspiration for the way we live our life comes from. The notion that athletes are bad role models often sparks controversy, but is it warranted?

In an age where professional sports personalities are idolized, this idea may seem perplexing. Yet, for one thing, the recent debacle involving NBA player Ja Morant's second firearm violation should serve as a wake-up call.

Drawing a line

Clear lines must be drawn for our kids; admiring someone’s on-court skill doesn’t give them a free pass for unsavory behavior in their personal life, and it certainly isn’t something to be emulated or aspired to by our younger generation.

Now, certainly, not all athletes are bad role models, but the reality is that some are. Not because they are inherently flawed, but because they, like us, are human. They are susceptible to the same mistakes and pressures we all face. 

What is the responsibility of a pro athlete?

A sobering reminder of this reality came when the Memphis Grizzlies suspended Morant after another gun video appeared on social media. This incident prompts us to reflect on the expectations we place on these public figures. 

After all, athletes are people just like us, who happen to possess extraordinary skills. That certainly doesn’t mean they should determine how our moral compass is set. It's essential to remind ourselves and our kids that just because someone is successful on the field or the court, it doesn't equate to perfection off it.

Do they need to be held more accountable?

Young people often look up to athletes as the epitome of discipline and dedication, observing their impressive achievements and aspiring to their heights. However, the reality is that athletes are bad role models when they fail to demonstrate responsible behavior, as we've seen with Morant.

The fame, money, and adoration that come with a successful sports career can often be overwhelming, leading athletes to make poor decisions. These missteps become amplified under the scrutiny of the public eye, and yet, the consequences faced by these sports figures can sometimes be trivial when compared to the gravity of their impact. 

Athletes are bad role models when they set a precedent that they are above the law or societal norms

Parents, in their quest to motivate and inspire their children, should reconsider turning towards athletes as the primary source of influence. Athletes are bad role models when we ignore their off-field behavior and only focus on their sporting prowess. It’s critical to foster a more holistic understanding of these sports personalities, focusing not just on their athletic achievements, but also their character and integrity.

While it’s easy to idolize athletes for their physical prowess, remember this: athletes are bad role models when their off-field behavior contradicts the values we wish to instill in our children. Let's remember to look for role models in various realms who embody the core values of integrity, empathy, and responsibility, guiding our younger generation toward a more holistic view of success.


Athletes Are Bad Role Models

We know someone who is a good role model - Dewey

At Dewey Does, not only do we Dew 110%, but we have a range of active kids' clothes made from quality materials at our sports novelty shop. Our coolest novelty tees are durable and long-lasting, perfect for sport, play, and rest. If you’ve enjoyed this article, you’ll find plenty of health, fitness, and sport-related resources on the Team Does Blog

We welcome you to reach out to us if you have any questions; Team Does would love to hear from you.

Before you go, let us know your thoughts. Do you think athletes should be held to a high standard of behavior in their personal lives because so many kids look up to them? 

Fighting childhood obesity since 2006

Hi, Team Does. I get all my sports news and updates from my friend Tommy Ommy, host of Straight from the Basement Sports Podcast. Be sure to follow him wherever you get your podcasts, and check out his YouTube channel for sports news and conversations - Dewey.

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