Huang Dynasty: Athletic Responsibilities With Public Image

Staff Writer

Uncle Ben once said “With great power comes great responsibility.” This phrase is often used to describe superheroes, teaching them to be humble and to use their powers for the greater good. To many kids, their “superhero” is their favorite athlete, someone who may seem to fly like Superman or run like the Flash. Accordingly, professional athletes are often considered role models, with their every move watched, imitated and, sometimes, questioned.

As a kid watching your favorite sport, everyone on that television screen seems to have something special. When you attend a game in person, every one of the athletes appears to emit a special glow. One day, you dream to be just like them. However, what if one day, one of your favorite athletes is hospitalized due to an overdose on drugs at a brothel? In the case of former NBA superstar Lamar Odom, many people were caught questioning his life decisions. Not too long ago, he was playing professional basketball, catching the eyes of fans everywhere. More recently, he was in the hospital, not expected to live much longer. Prior to his hopitalization, Odom was known to have one of the most cheerful personalities and it seemed like he was living the dream life.

Athletes of any kind, professional or not, are role models. They define the words “hard work” and “effort” every day. This is the ideal athlete, one that doesn’t make mistakes, one that people of all ages can look up to and admire. Any athlete should have the responsibility of making sure that what they’re doing is appropriate, because their every move will be closely watched. The public image that comes with being an athlete is important and when that image is tarnished, the role of “superhero” is tarnished as well. But Odom’s case also shows how famous inidividuals can easily have other underlying problems under their heroic outer appearance. Even though they are “superheroes”, every hero has a weakness and in all sincerity, we should all hope for the best in Odom’s recovery.