Athletes need to act like the role models they are

Published Aug 27, 2014 at 5:51 am (Updated Aug 26, 2014 at 10:19 am)

Just in time for the official start of regular season football, and on the heels of the Ray Rice controversy, two members of the Pittsburgh Steelers, running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount were charged with possession of marijuana following a traffic stop on Aug. 20. Bell was also charged with DUI, for allegedly driving while high – and he is quoted in the police report as saying, “I didn’t know you could get a DUI for being high.”

DUI – Driving under the influence.

But, that’s beside the point. Coach Mike Tomlin hasn’t ruled out suspending the two running backs, though that would leave the team with rookie running backs if both were suspended at the same time, ergo, jeopardizing the Steelers chances at a winning season.

The jury is still out as to what convoluted punishment NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will dole out.

We aren’t saying that we have a problem with smoking weed. What we have a problem with is athletes who are supposed to be role models doing stupid things. Getting high en route to catch a plane to a pre-season game certainly qualifies.

Athletes, whether professional, collegiate or scholastic are role models. Once they don their uniform, they are representing their league, their city, their college, their school. People of all ages look up to them, and strive for the greatness that they have achieved.

Whether the infraction is domestic violence, driving under the influence, or even cheating on a test, athletes are letting a lot of people down. You may hear them say that they didn’t ask to be considered a role model, but they need to realize that they are, and they need to conduct themselves accordingly.

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