Someone asked me about the controversy surrounding the Serena Williams outburst at the US Open this weekend.
Serena had some issues with the chair umpire after he docked her a point for getting illegal coaching from the stands. It is an accusation that the tennis star denied.
She is heard to say that men do far worse and they don’t get cited and she suggested to reporters that it was all about sexism.
That controversy will continue. And, so will another debate brought up by many a parent.
“Serena is a role model,” they say and so she should know better. And that is the problem that we as a society have.
Sports Stars. Celebrities. Everybody up to and including the man on the moon (OK he is actually a role model)-- all are considered role models when they shouldn’t. They are people looking to win. They are people looking to succeed. They aren’t people who go out on a Monday and say “I will be a role model.”
The role model is the parent.
The Janitor at the school that has more common sense and how to use it than anyone else.
This idea that sports stars are role models is a falsehood perpetuated by advertising agencies than anyone else.
It comes because we have somehow shirken our responsibility to bring kids up right and therefore in the alternative kids turn to the famous rather than those closer to home.
And until times change-- that parents continue to parent rather than want to be friendly will times never change.
And that’s why we will turn the wrong way for guidance.
Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images for Ironman)