Should any athlete be judged on what kind of person he or she is on or off the field, court, or swimming pool? The answer is yes, athletes should be punished for actions which occur in their own personal lives. In today’s world, sport stars and other athletes are looked up to by all ages. Everyone loves them. They look great in the eyes of the everyday public. They appear on television; they perform like rock stars, and do this with the entire world watching.
But do athletes’ responsibilities affect only his or her performance on the field of play or does it also extend to his personal life as well? There are many who claim that it is wrong for a sophisticated society to force a set of behavior expectations on people who just happen to do extremely well in sports. “I am not a role model” (I’m Not a, par 1). That statement was said by former National Basketball Association (NBA) player Charles Barkeley. Some other players agree with him, in the fact, they do not and don’t expect to be considered role models (I’m Not a, par. 1).
But the truth is, whether they like it or not, they are role models to many young fans who watch their every move on and off the field, and models their lives after how their favorite player does. Athletes should be judged on their actions off the field. First, they are role models to millions of young fans. Secondly, athletes are not above the law and should not be treated that way. Finally, they are representatives of their team, school, sport, and countries. First of all, athletes should be judge for their actions off the playing field because they are the role models of millions of young fans.
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Great athletes are always in the eye of the public and media, and their actions are seen both on and off the field, sometimes even when they think nobody is watching such as Olympic Gold Medalist and swimming phenomenon, Michael Phelps. Phelps is looked at as a national hero for is world record breaking efforts in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and a role model to millions of young kids all over the world. Recently, he was caught in a photograph smoking marijuana.
In our exclusive photo Michael Phelps, who won a record EIGHT gold medals for swimming at the Beijing games last summer, draws from a bong”(Dickenson). Even though, Phelps thought he was in a trusted environment, and the photographer showed a severe lack of class in taking the photograph, just for a little cash. Phelps was seen by millions of people and the young fans who adore him and should be punished for is illegal actions not only by the law but in his sport, as well, because of his responsibility as a role model in the eyes of his young fans.
Because of his of his great accomplishment and the affect it brought upon his young fans to model their lives after Phelps, what will his fans say when they are offered to smoke marijuana? “I saw Michael Phelps do it, so it cannot be that bad,” and make a wrong decision because of the actions of their hero. Athletes should be accounted for their actions of the playing fields because the negative influence they could put in the hands of their young fans. Secondly, athletes are not above the law, and should be monitored on and off the field.
There are no double standard rules for athletes when they are in trouble with the law. They are regular human beings, such as you and I, and we should all be treated equally in the court of law: They are not above the law, and it's at least satisfying to see them pay the consequences as well (some of the time) like the regular folk. But, even if they are drunk or sober, should we at least expect some decent conduct in their spare time. These guys are doing what some of us hope or used to hope, happen to us. That is to get the opportunity to make a great salary doing something we love for a portion of the year! I’m Not a, par. 5)
Athletes are not superior to the rest of us; they are just as prone to the consequences of the law as you or me. Athletes are not above the law, and should not be treated that way. They are just regular people like everyone else, they just have this lime light over their head twenty-four-seven. Finally, athletes represent their teams, schools, sports, and countries with every action they make on and off the field. When wearing the colors of their school or country while doing an unlawful act, it will give that rganization a bad reputation of leniency and not being a serious institution.
“Two 20-year-old Duke University lacrosse players were arrested early Tuesday on charges of raping and kidnapping a stripper hired to dance at an off-campus party”(Duke Lacrosse Players, par. 1). Even though, the accusations were false and later dropped; the scandal forced the coach to resign, brought shame upon the university and the team’s season to an early end. Therefore, athletes are ambassadors of their teams, schools, sports and countries and they represent them on and off the field.
Athletes are role models to millions of young fans. Secondly, athletes are not above the law and should not be treated that way. Finally, they are representatives of their teams, schools, sports, and countries. For those reasons, athletes should be judged for their actions off the field. Great competitors are always in the eye of the media, and decisions could affect the lives of their fans, team members, coaches, and clubs. So they should strive to not be only outstanding athletes on the field, but outstanding citizens off the field.
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