There has long been an ongoing debate; Are and should athletes be role models???? I know some kids need a lot of guidance and it’s nothing short of common for them to look at who they see on television…the musicians, the athletes. But the television does a very good job of showing mostly negative things and people do crave it, but where are the other alternatives.  I also think the public does not give kids enough credit; when they say they want to be like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Tom Brady, or Ray Lewis they usually don’t know much about what they do off the field or court. The kids speak almost primarily of their athletic prowess. 

     I also find it funny how when these politicians and people in corporate America have their scandals they go in and out of the news. After the initial shock and press release, the only time you hear of them is when Bill Maher makes a joke on Real Time.  The only time we hear about players and the good works they do is if a television show wants to interview them. Iit will be brought up but only after they ask the player about whatever scandal is going on with them, their team, or their respective sport. 

     While doing research on this subject, something else became very evident; there were many lists with top 10 sports scandals and such.  I know people of color have been dominating sports for a while and just like the everyday news are portrayed disproportionally negative to the public in comparison to whites. But on 6 lists I viewed there were only mention of 2 white Americans (Pete Rose & Chicago Black Sox).  I actually was thinking for a second maybe there were not many to come to light, then as I continued my research I found plenty, but none that were portrayed in the news like Kobe Bryant, Michael Vick, Barry Bonds, i.e. I think we have to accept the whole of a person, the good and the bad. But more importantly I think the public has to ask for the good to be brought more to the forefront and for the media to do a better job of being fair, not just when dealing  with athletes but politicians and everyone else. You can find out about just about anything or anyone by taking advantage of the internet.  Listed below are people who I found interesting stories about not just scandals but redemption for some after scandals, people falsely accused, etc.  Wayne Gretzky, Calvin Murphy, Steve Phillips, Wade Boggs, Mercury Morris, Connie Hawkins, Graham Jones, George O’Leary, Paul Hornung, Alex Karras, Steve Garvey, and 88 Olympic games (Roy Jones Jr.)

Article written by contributing writer, J. Darien Stokes

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