by Andrew Sagarin – 11 Jul 2004
Should pro athletes be kids’ role models? The answer is no. Many athletes such as Allen Iverson, Randy Moss, and Jeremy Shockey, are big babies who have let their celebrity go to their heads. They have bad attitudes and believe that the world revolves around them.
Then there is the unnecessary violence. In the past couple years three incidents come to mind. There was Marty McSorely using his hockey stick as a bat and Donald Brashear’s head as the ball. 350 pound Warren Sapp blindsided Chad Clifton at full speed, landing Clifton in the hospital with serious injuries. Most recently Todd Bertuzzi nearly killed Steve Moore by skating up behind him and violently tackling him to the ice.
Then there are the guys who are in trouble with the law. There’s Kobe Bryant, star of two courts, the Staples Center in Los Angeles and the Judicial Court in Eagle County, Colorado where he is on trial for rape. For every Jason Williams, who’s a nut case, it seems like there’s a Jayson Williams, who’s an FBI case. The former Nets star is on trial for manslaughter. It could be said that the best player in each of the three biggest sports leagues in America is in legal trouble. Along with Kobe from the NBA, the NFL’s Jamal Lewis has been charged with major drug trafficing, and Major League Baseball’s Barry Bonds has testified and may be involved in the BALCO steroids case. Then there’s Mike Danton who is charged with hiring a hitman to kill his agent and Michael Pittman who is charged with aggraveated domestic assault and reckless endangerment. And those are just the ones that make the headlines. Crack open any sports magazine and you’ll find a paragraph stating that an NFL star is doing 50 hours of community service for DUI, a baseball player was arrested for hitting his wife, or an NBA player is on probation for possesion of marijuana. Granted, for every Darryl Strawberry and Mike Tyson there are guys like Tim Duncan and Bret Favre who play the game with class and are model citizens and they don’t get publicity for it, but kids should be selective about whom they model themselves after.