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Are Athletes Role Models Lately a topic of great controversy has been whether or not athletes should be looked upon as role models by their fans Does an athletes responsibilities pertain solely to his 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 impose a set of behavioral expectations on fallible people who just so happen to excel in sports Some players themselves agree with the fact that they do not and dont expect to be considered role models such as stated at a press conference by Charles Barkley wwwyaleheraldcomarchivexx9895sportsmantlehtml It is my argument that athletes are not only role models but in todays media driven world it is their responsibility to exhibit extraordinary judgment and exemplary actions off the field as well From the beginning of time man has looked outside of himself for examples of strength leadership and guidance For heroes Perhaps it is an acknowledgement of a human flaw Even the mythological gods possessed powers beyond those of mortal men Legends are told of men with superhuman strength endurance and wisdom So why would it not seem natural for that same kind of idolatry to be transferred to other human beings with ultra human physical traits Even fictional characters such as Superman and Paul Bunion had such enormous strength that their contemporaries held them in higher esteem than any mortal Idealizing may be a sign of a human flaw but it is natural for someone to see a character performing extraordinary feats and pretend even for the slightest moment that themselves have that kind of power This is the reason why our civilization is so drawn to sport figures because we see people who are mortal and similar to us do things with their body that we cannot do As children we all ran and swam and played ball
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