Choose Your Heroes Carefully

We deal with sports in this column on a weekly basis and it is easy to identify certain sports figures as “heroes” or “role models”. Now it is not only sports that this occurs, virtually every situation or field has people that are looked up to whether it be musicians, actors, leaders in the field of work that we are engaged in etc.

We deal in sports so let’s look at what has happened since the end of the NFL season. Reportedly there have been 27 NFL players involved in some sort of criminal or unlawful activity since season’s end. The last incident involved a former University of Florida player then playing for the New England Patriots that could be looking at a murder charge or multiple murder charges.

New England moved swiftly and cut the player from the team and then offered to allow fans to trade any jerseys purchased at the stadium store or online store with the player’s name on them. The last count I saw was that over 1,200 fans took advantage of the offer to rid themselves of this particular player’s name on their person.

Closer to home, one of our major Mississippi university’s athletic programs was reprimanded for some post game antics and self-expressions by one of their players when his team lost. The same player failed to show sportsmanship when he was on the winning side of the scoreboard also, it bears mentioning.

The past couple of weeks have not been good for those who many look up to as stars or team representatives. Some things were done in stupidity, some done evidently in cold-hearted meanness. Whatever the case, all of us need to be careful of looking to other men of frailties and faults like us for a sort of hero worship. Most will let you down.

It is no mistake or coincidence that the center verse of the Bible in Psalm 118:8 states: “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” That is well worth remembering when we consider the supposed greatness of an individual, his talents, or his legacy.

About Dennis Clayton

I cover high school sports in Union County for the New Albany Gazette and also occasionally contribute sports articles to sister community newspapers of Journal Inc. Follow me on Twitter: @denclayton for scores and updates on our local high school teams. See you at the games!
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