When it comes to professional sports, there is one main controversy surrounding them; whether or not athletes should be considered role models. What is the true meaning of an athlete and what is the true meaning of a role model? A role model is defined as "a person who serves as a model in a particular behavioral social role for another person to emulate." Athletes are there to play sports, nothing more, nothing less. We can enjoy and envy all they do on the playing field but that's where the idolizing should stop. People can control their actions on the playing field by cutting pay or fining the athletes, but off they cannot. Our admiration for them should stop where sports end and real life begins. .
An athlete's home life should not be involved in the life that is in the spot light for everyone to see. They should be allowed their privacy and be able to conduct their lives outside of sports how they please without the chance of public ridicule. Though the life style they live is what children can and should strive for, they should not look to these athletes as role models and heroes. Family members and people that are close to them should be the ones they look up to and admire. Athletes should only be role models on their perspective playing field. When Charles Barkley said, "I am not a role model," I became one of his biggest fans. In a Nike commercial that aired a few years ago featuring basketball star Charles Barkley, Barkley shares with us a few important things: first, just because he's a basketball star doesn't mean he should raise America's kids; two, he is not a role model; and three, parents are the ones who should be role models. Coming from a professional athlete, this helps you to realize that when athletes step onto the playing field they are only thinking about one thing, winning. They are not concerned how their actions both on and off the court are perceived by their fans.