Athletes as Role Models

The media's role in the portrayal of athletes as role models in history

ay it ain't so, Joe.' During the infamous 1919 Black Sox scandal, in which the team deliberately 'threw' the World Series for a bribe, the players' betrayal was depicted as being particularly hurtful to young people who idolized the SOX (Everstein 1998). Babe Ruth was also portrayed as a hero during this era, as he slugged out record numbers of hits, often specifically asked to do so by his adoring young fans. Even today, whenever a new scandal about an athlete erupts, from steroids to Michael Phelps smoking pot, the media seldom portrays this as bad behavior by an individual. Rather it is portrayed as cultural event, and a betrayal of all the fans, particularly the young fans, of the sport. As athletics have become more and more central to everyday life --...
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