Lately, a topic of great controversy has been whether or not athletes should be looked .
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 don't expect to be considered .
role models, such as stated at a press conference by Charles Barkley .
(www.yaleherald.com/archive/xx/9.8.95/sports/mantle.html). It is my argument that .
athletes are not only role models but, in today's media driven world, it is their .
responsibility to exhibit extraordinary judgment and exemplary actions off the field as .
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 so .
we can personally appreciate the difficulty of performing to such high degrees of .