Ask any youth who their role model is and more often than not they will name a prominent sports figure. I’ll not delve into the world of steroids or doping or cheating. We can name hundreds of sports figures who were caught and convicted of these and other crimes. Sadly, even after the conviction many still hold these people in high regard-not sure why.
The question is why are even the honest sports figures claimed as a role model? They do not play this sport because of personal convictions nor do they participate to empower others. They do it for the money.
Let’s make a comparison to prove a point. For the past many years the media has focused on the 0.1 percent of police officers who do not “serve and protect.” They will even go so far as to generate a media lynching of police officers who are given no choice but to initiate lethal force in a confrontation. Seldom will you hear of a police officer held up as a role model. But I submit they are the perfect example. I will also submit, unless you have looked at death in the face, you have no business crucifying a police officer who was forced to make a split-second decision. Granted, there are times when, using hind-sight, lethal force was not required. However, there are more cases where a police officer, or innocent by-stander, lost their life because lethal force was not used. If a perpetrator places themselves, by their own actions, into a position where there is a potential for lethal force then they are the ones who must lay claim to the results. As a needed side comment, a gun in the hands of a bad-guy is not needed to constitute a need for deadly force.
A police officers do not patrol the streets or rush toward danger for the money. They do it because they have an inner desire to serve the public. When shots are fired everyone will run the other direction; everyone except a police officer. They will run towards the shooter and put their lives on the line to calm the hostilities. If lethal force is required to calm the hostilities then they have done their duty.
Would a prominent football player run a ball to the goal if there were even the slightest possibility they might get shot? Of course they wouldn’t. Why would they? Getting the ball to the goal is not a life or death situation. A police officer putting themselves in harm’s way is a life or death situation. You can replace the word police officer with solider, fireman, and these days you can add teacher to the list.
The police officer, the soldier, the fireman, and yes the teacher do their jobs not because of the money, but rather because of who they are.
So, I ask you again. Why are sports figures held up as role models while these others are not?