The Medias Role In the Sports World
Athletes in todays society have to portray a certain image. With the increasing number of children becoming
involved in sports, professional athletes must be more aware of their actions on and off the playing field. Children
today are easily influenced by what the media says about their role models. What they fail to realize is that these
"heroes" are only human and make mistakes like the rest of us. Athletes sometimes forget that being in the public
eye means that they must live and act in a way that society deems proper. I believe that professional athletes can be
looked upon as role models, but their everyday lives should remain private. Privacy for anyone under the media's
microscope becomes nearly impossible with reporters following them around every second of their life. Athletes
such as Reggie White, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee have accepted the fact that they are role models and must live their
lives accordingly. On the other hand, Dennis Rodman realizes that he !
is admired, but feels that his performance on the court should be the only reason for admiration. Therefore he lives
his life his own unique way. Others such as Mike Tyson completly disregard the fact that they are in the public eye
and will be looked at as role models.
Reggie White, one of the National Football Leagues best defensive tackles, knows that he is under the spotlight on
and off the field. Not only is he the NFL's premier tackle but he is a minister at his own church. When a group of
racist vandels burnt down his church, it was in the news more than the fact that he was the leagues sack leader
(Kanamine, A3). White has also put alot back into the poor community. In 1993, he revealed plans to help restore
the inner city around Milwaukee. " We're really trying to do what we can to restructure the inner cities," White
noted. " We want to give the people an opportunity to work, to buy a home, and to start thier own business. We're
going to show them a plan" ( Anonymous, 51). One of White's solutions to the development of the inner cities is to
build factories inside the housing projects so that people can walk to work instead of jumping on a bus. Another
professional athlete that gives back to the community is Jackie Joyner- !
Kersee, one of the worlds most renouned track stars. Kersee has to be the perfect example of a rags to riches story.
After growing up in the projects around East St. Louis, she went on to win countless medals in olympic competion
and to this day, she still holds the world record in the heptathalon. Kersee called for unity in providing opportunities
and encouagement for underprivaliged youngsters in her home town earlier this year in May. Her ideas for achieving
these goals is to build a community center where children can go to do their homework, play in the gyms, or to just
hang around with a couple of friends. "Having something for the kids to do everyday after school will give them a
more positive outlook on life and may unleash their true potential," says Kersee at an interview during the press
conference.( Goodrich, 12)
Dennis Rodman, a Forward for the Chicago Bulls and the National Basketball Association's rebound leader for the
past three years, is an outstanding athlete. His job as a rebounder is a hard one, he must be aggresive, and at times
intimidating. On the court he plays with emotion and his aggresiveness is sometimes frowned upon by the rest of the
sporting community. Rodman is a fierce competetor on the court and believes that if he were to be emulated he
would only want that aspect of his life copied. Off the court Rodman is one of sports' all-time bad boys. From cross-
dressing to explicit photograghs, he doesn't exactly appeal to every admiring child's mother.
Kids are like sponges, and they're soaking up Rodman as if he were
spilled chocolate milk on the kitchen counter. They see the obvious:
Rodman's illustrated body, a sort of Sistene chapel of tatoos... Rodman's
Rainbow Coaltition hair... Rodman's NBA skills... Rodman's