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Should Sport Stars Be Heroes?

Everybody loves to watch a sports star in action. Amazing athletes like Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter, and Mia Hamm can do things that most of us only dream about. Is it any wonder that we often turn our favorite athletes into heroes?

Many athletes enjoy being looked up to by kids and adults. But not everyone believes that sports stars should be heroes. Several years ago, basketball star Charles Barkley stunned many people by saying he would not be a role model anymore. In a recent TV commercial, he said, "Just because I can dunk a basketball doesn't mean I should raise your kids."

What do you think? Should sports stars be treated as heroes? Read both arguments, then decide.

yes

Sports stars deserve to be heroes.

Sports stars should be heroes because kids need people to look up to. Sports heroes show kids that with hard work and persistence, you can achieve your dreams. "It's the kids who don't have a dream that I worry about," said Larry Hawkins, founder of the Institute for Athletics and Education.

Sports stars do a lot to help others, setting a good example for kids. Many raise money for charities. Some athletes even set up their own charities. In 1997, Tiger Woods started a foundation that holds golf clinics for underprivileged kids. It also promotes education and racial harmony.

No

Sports stars are not heroes.

Turning athletes into heroes sends kids the wrong message. It tells them that the most important thing in life is sports. Most kids don't realize that becoming a professional athlete is very difficult. Less than 1 percent of high school athletes will ever play professional sports.

More important, sports stars aren't always people kids should look up to. Some well-known athletes abuse drugs and alcohol. Some sports stars have been charged with murder. And who can forget the prejudiced insults that Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker hurled at New Yorkers last year? Parents should be role models, not athletes.
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Publication:Junior Scholastic
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 27, 2000
Words:331
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