Recreation and Sport Studies

Studying, Experiencing and Facilitating Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport through Wellness and Physical Activity

Relationship between athletes and role models

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As an undergraduate in RSS, an article I would recommend to future RSS 4092 students is:

LeMier, K. (2008). Relationship between athletes and role models. Journal of Undergraduate Research at Minnesota State University, Mankato, 8(7), 1-12.

While trying to think of a topic to write about for a Recreation and Sport Studies paper, I saw a commercial on television about the upcoming Masters golf tournament which featured Tiger Woods. Seeing the image of Tiger Woods instantly gave me the idea for my paper. In 2009, Woods’ private life was plastered all over the media, as there were allegations that he had been cheating on his wife. These allegations proved to be true and had detrimental affects on Woods’ life. He withdrew himself from multiple upcoming golf tournaments, lost many of his sponsorship deals and lost the respect of a lot of his fans. Many people blamed Woods for teaching poor morals to young children who looked up to him. This led to my question: should professional athletes be expected to be role models?


LeMier (2008) examines whether or not athletes should have the responsibility to portray themselves as a positive role model to children. According to LeMier, there are three main issues when it comes to the influence that athletes have on young children:

  1. the moral development of the youth,
  2. the potential influence by athletes on the behavior of the youth, and
  3. how athletes are expressed through the media as exceptions to the rules.

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