Kobe Bryant never should have been a role model

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When Charles Barkley said, "I am not a role model," I became his biggest fan. I had grown weary of parents, yes parents, complaining that people on television whom they had never met were not being a good example for their kids. How they imagined they could peer across the television screen into the souls of the athletes to truly know them as suitable candidates for their kids' adoration was beyond my understanding.

There was a kid at my high school who was a pitcher on the baseball team who had a pacemaker installed for his heart. He was featured on the local television stations for 'human interest' stories and proclaimed a courageous athlete, a responsible citizen, and an all around good guy. Later, when I got to know him, I found out that he was a first class jerk who looked down on others, degraded his girlfriend, and viciously mocked his teammates. Yet, the public at large saw him as a role model.

I realized that if the local kid could so easily fool people into believing him to be so virtuous, there is absolutely no way to truly know the multi-million dollar athlete on television. Thus, Barkley's statement struck a chord with me. Kobe Bryant was trying very hard to make me change my mind. He was the intelligent athlete who spoke Italian, spent his evenings playing video games rather than getting into bar fights, didn't have a litter of illegitimate kids all over the country, dressed nicely, and actually seemed to care about his image off the court. I should have known better. Even if Kobe is found not guilty of rape, he is still an adulterer and a phony.

As a huge sports fan, I have to ask myself - Is there any reason whatsoever that professional athletes should be role models?

I think the answer is perhaps, but only within a limited scope. I hope to emulate the athletes in my professional life as they perform in their chosen sport. If I could execute at work like Pete Sampras does on grass, I would be pretty successful. If I could have a day like the day when Michael Jordan scored 63 points in the playoffs against the Celtics, like the day a 6'1" point guard named Allen Iverson put his team on his back and won the first game of the NBA finals in Los Angeles, or like the night an 18 year old freshman named Michael Vick almost single-handedly carried the Virginia Tech Hokies to a national championship, that would be a good day.

That is the only manner in which I wish to emulate the professional athlete.

To actually mark him as a role model in other facets of life is plain ridiculous.

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I started to respect

I started to respect Charles Barkley a lot more after his statement. Unfortunately, it isn't true. Every professional athlete/entertainer/polictician/school teacher/police officer/co-worker/parent/etc is a role model whether they like it or not.

I think Jonathan's point is on the mark. Pick specific characteristics from many role models rather than all the characteristics of a single one.

What troubles me is when some celebrities take what Charles Barkely said too far. The thug athletes/gangster rappers not only reject being good role models, they intentionally flaunt their decadent and immoral behavior to the point where the media accepts them into mainstream life.

Almost everyone today will say that Ozzy Osbourne is a great and loving parent. I scratch my head and think, is he the role model for future fathers?

Every professional

Every professional athlete/entertainer/polictician/school teacher/police officer/co-worker/parent/etc is a role model whether they like it or not.

I hope not. If my kid ever starts viewing politicians as role models, I may have to disown him. I think parents need to teach their kids not to look up to people they don't truly know.

kObE bRyAnT iS a LoSeR

kObE bRyAnT iS a LoSeR

kobe is the best go on

kobe is the best go on niggaaaa

the only person worthy of

the only person worthy of being a role is Jesus Christ everyone is gonna stuff things up. People should get off Kobes back I am sure that you have let people down many times like myself. my prayers are with these pro athletes May they know the Love of a God who cares.