Adrian Peterson has just been indicted for child abuse. Ray Rice beat his fiancé. Oscar Pistorius was found guilty of “culpable homicide.”
Some years back, Nike and Charles Barkley started the conversion: Can an athlete also be a role model? Should you idolize someone because he can run fast and jump high and hit a ball a frickin’ mile? There are a lot of not-so-great people out there playing sports. And yes, there are a whole lot of good ones, too.
So whom do you put on a pedestal?
Actors? Like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Lindsay Lohan, one of the many assorted Coreys?
Jimi Hendrix was a special talent, but a role model?
William Burroughs sure could write. And use heroin. And sell it.
Can businesspeople inspire? Bernie Madoff inspired my friend’s nest egg right down the drain.
Every day, another middle school teacher is becoming “romantically involved” with a student.
Police officers are just as bad – and good – as the rest of us.
So maybe you leave the pedestal empty, son. Maybe you look up to yourself, daughter.
Be your own role model, kid.
(I want to be just like you.)