Sports-people are always in the public eye. We can’t get away from them. And in a world where we can get information and view things in an instant, sports stars know they are always going to be seen. Role models are for people to look up to or aspire to be and athletes should be aware of their stardom.
Any sporting achievement will catapult you into the public eye so they must display good behaviour at almost all times, or risk their reputation. Bradley Wiggins’ recent saga with his use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUE’s) before big races has come under immense scrutiny and his status as one of Britain’s biggest sporting role models is under threat.
Unlike Nicola Adams, whose iconic smile and terrific boxing won the hearts of millions, Wiggins became a role model with predominantly his cycling, and maybe his sideburn. This brings another angle, as being a role model can also establish your sporting success. While athletes aren’t paid to be role models, they take up that mantle as being the most prominent obsessions in society.
I’m sure athletes may not appreciate us dismissing them because of a silly mistake, but being a role model is something that comes with the fame of
being a professional athlete. Besides, not all athletes are good role models. I’m looking at you Joey Barton.