African American Athletic Role Models

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African American athletic role models affect the young communities around them to a great extent. Some of the most influential of these iconic athletes include Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and Shaquille O’Neal from the NBA. From the NFL, Adrian Peterson and Michael Vick are great examples amongst the many. These athletes influence the young adolescence of their communities in both negative and positive ways. To analyze this I will survey a young football I am familiar with of their favorite athletes. Then I will observe the potential impact said athlete could have on the individual though observation. These athletes’ lives are put under a microscope and every action by them is documented. Some athletes thrive in this situation and serve as great…show more content…
In 2006 Michael McCarthy released an article stating how athletes simply get a “slap on the wrist” for their wrongdoings. An example McCarthy used was an incident with NBA player DeShawn Stevenson. DeShawn Stevenson was charged with statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl early in his career. For this incident, Stevenson was given 100 hours of community service (which included celebrity guest appearances and basketball camps) and paid a fine. This is the case for most athletes. “Only 5% of the athletes whose cases were studied went to trail.” This misleads children, as their role models are not being held accountable for their actions the way a regular citizen would be. Another study by Richard Felton (1996) shows how behavioral observation through media plays a role in behavior. The lab reports showed how “children who are exposed to violence tend to misbehave.” These children may be copying behavior they have seen over sources of media. This coincides with the social learning theory. The social learning theory claims that people learn through observing, imitating, and modeling A great example of both these studies is the recent incident with NFL player Adrian Peterson. Peterson was originally arrested for a child abuse felony. However, Peterson eventually reached a plea deal bringing his felony to a misdemeanor with a fine and community service. After a year of suspension, Peterson is back in the NFL. Peterson’s defense was that this is the same form of parent discipline his parents gave him. While child discipline is a controversial topic, by allowing Peterson to return to the NFL gives children the misconception that it is acceptable. This behavior can influence children as they grow up and can contribute to the decisions they

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