Should athletes be role models?


By Matt Jones
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.


Neymar Junior (pictured above) could face a jail term of up to two years for a corruption case concerning his move from Santos to Barcelona back in 2013.
Neymar Junior (pictured above) could face a jail term of up to two years for a corruption case concerning his move from Santos to Barcelona back in 2013.
By James Lassey
A role model should be someone who makes rational decisions, sets an example and quite simply makes a positive change to society. With this in mind, how can any athlete in any particular sport be expected to act as a role model.

These athletes dedicate their teenage years to training and as a result they usually miss the chance to learn key life skills and interact with groups of society that non-professional athletes will come into contact with on a daily basis.

How does an athlete kicking a ball better than an opposing player or an athlete being able to run faster than someone else, warrant them to be a young child’s model of behavioural perfection?
Athletes should not have to behave in a specific way due to them being in the public eye. Political leaders and platinum selling artists do not come under the same sort of scrutiny after bringing their relevant professions into disrepute. Samir Carruthers of MK Dons was pictured urinating into a glass at Cheltenham horse-racing festival and was fined two weeks wages.
Yet, President elect, Donald Trump’s business has been sued 20 times for sexual harassment and the man himself has been recorded being overtly sexist. Despite this, it still resulted in him being elected the leader of the most powerful country in the world.


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