Athletes as Role Models for Today's Youth Essay

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Athletes as Role Models for Today’s Youth SOC/105 Marie Loggia-Kee August 27, 2013 Athletes as Role Models for Today’s Youth Americans have always looked for heroes and people to idolize, especially the younger of the generations. Many different sports, both as players and as spectators, have been popular American pass-times for decades. Because of the popularity of sports and the great accomplishments of some players, athletes have always been idolized by the American public. However, some actions by famous athletes in recent years and the advanced coverage of the media have caused many people to realize that not all athletes make positive role models for today’s youth. Both observers and participants in sports should use responsible decision making and good judgment when it comes to bolstering the popularity of the athletes and allowing them to be seen as role models for others. Sports became popular in America at a time when the American people needed a distraction and needed to find some enjoyment that would take their minds off of the events that they were going on around them. “As big-media and even bigger corporations joined the fray, athletes were ratcheted up to the highest perches in the nation's pantheon. Americans bought into it emotionally and economically. We convinced ourselves that, while we couldn't emulate our heroes' performances, we could -- if only for a moment -- for maybe one shot "be like Mike," stalk the golf course like Tiger, or channel our inner Lance. And if not, we could, at the very least, wear their shirt or shoes” (Huffington Post, 2013). Although many official sports teams in America began as primarily all white players with restriction on who could and could not join the professional teams, the integration of other races into the different sports teams provided many minority groups with

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