This archived article was written by: Alejandro Church
What is the difference between professional actors and professional athletes?
Both have talent, money, fame and both work hard. However, actors are sometimes athletes. First, I will tell you why athletes shouldn’t be actors, and no, I don’t mean the Hollywood actor or a Dancing with the Stars contestant. What I mean is that athletes need to be the part, not act the part. With the role of an athlete comes a certain responsibility of being a role model for everyone.
An actor is motivated by the camera or the stage, they change roles continually and do so well, however what they do in front of a camera is not necessarily who they are. An athlete, on the other hand, is not only themselves on the field, but off it as well. They are paid to be themselves and to play for the fans. We can expect that if an athlete is aggressive and full of rage on the field, they will be off the field as well. If they are disciplined and well rounded on the field or court, they will be expected to be the same way in the community.
Now, I speak in general terms of course, because professional actors make huge differences in the community, in their families and throughout the world, but it should be the expectation that athletes do this. Obviously, because of the media, we will hear more about Tiger Woods, Barry Bonds and Michael Vick, with their problems. I call them out and say get a role model, get a mentor and fix it. Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers was a first-round draft pick of the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays, he took this new found wealth and power and frankly abused it to the point where he could no longer function due to drugs and alcohol. Luckily for him, he had people who loved him enough to step in and intervene. They saved his life and he transformed himself into a God-fearing family man and is now a suitable role model for kids and adults alike.
Derek Jeter took his first-round draft pick a bit differently, by keeping the values instilled in him from his family from a young age and taking them to an extra cautious level. He’s so protective of his image that he only answers certain questions, not to hide, but make certain that what he says is never misunderstood or mistaken for meaning something it shouldn’t. He has certainly earned his captain of the Yankees status, but to me, earned and lived up to the status of role model through his integrity and work ethic.
To all the athletes who think the world revolves around them, remember who pays your salary and how you should repay them by leading a genuine way of life. Fans must expect this and demand this from the people, who have more influence than presidents and world leaders and then we will see a change in America, a change in the world.