Hero Worship of Athletes
A hero is a person who is admired for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. A lot of the time the word superhero is connected with the word hero. Obviously, a superhero being a heroic character that possess supernatural power to fight villains and protect the public. There really is no limit on who can and cannot be classified as a hero. A hero is someone that other people want to be.
A role model is a person that others look at to imitate. The perfect example of a role model would be parents, parents want to inspire good behavior and be someone their kids can look up to. Role models are people that you can always look up to.
Real People vs Athlete
A majority of people disagree with the praise athlete's receive in the media. The argument that military troops, police officers, doctors, and nurse's should be crowned hero's over athletes is your decision. Ultimately, there is no limit on who can and cannot be a hero. Just because athlete's are people who play sports as a job and make millions of dollars does not make them any less of a hero to some people. Everyone has the ability to be a hero no matter what your profession is.
Some people may view an athlete as a hero just based off of the work he/she does on the field or the court. With a sporting event being broadcast-ed almost every night it is no wonder athlete's are always in the limelight. However, the real heroism is what they do off of the field or court. The service, hope, and knowledge some athlete's give back to communities is what makes them hero's. This is what should be making it's way around on media platforms. What they do on the court/field is something that can be admired but does not verify them as being a hero.
In this day in age, college athletes have a bigger platform than most people do around the world. These kids are going to college for an education but in return they are playing games on national television every week. Like professional athletes the media turns their play on the court/field into something that everyone idolizes. Often times the college players people view as hero's are not even good role models.
Attributes and Accomplishments
When deciding who is a hero and who is not the attributes and accomplishments of a person is looked at. People who serve in the military show a massive amount of courage, love, passion, and determination for their country and put their lives on the line for us. Their accomplishments of whatever it may be are also major factors in the making of a hero. Although not on the same scale there are a number of athletes (professional or collegiate) who display attributes and accomplishments of a hero.
Even though I do believe that athletes can be hero's I know that advertising and sponsorship's play a big role in the media's view. Big time athletes sign enormous deals with companies to promote their product and in return the athlete's get exposure to the public. The company that sponsors the athlete will try anything in their power to make their athlete look good and keep a clean reputation. This hides the imperfections of athletes and gives off the sense of a flawless human to the public.
Media to Society
Media platforms and social media has taken over society and the way we engage with each other. If something gets trending on twitter or on a news outlet then most likely you are going to hear about it the next day or two. This is the same case with athlete's and the praise they receive. Although, the praise they receive should be from what they do as a person not a player it is often captured and spread around the internet. There are plenty of people who provide services, hope, and knowledge just like athletes to others but that can take away from what the athletes do. We need more people to follow in the steps of their hero's and if that is by making it trend on social media than so be it. As long as Athlete's are getting recognized for the correct things there should be no limitations on if they can be hero's or not.
With his combined 76.5 million social media followers LeBron James is arguable one of the most well known athlete throughout the entire world. LeBron grew up with a single mother (the age of 16) in Akron, Ohio. He has worked his entire life to rise from the trenches that he thought was destined for him and has become one of the most influential athletes of the world. He created the LeBron James Family Foundation where he pledged to send 1,100 kids to college on full scholarship amounted in more than $41 million. He also is part of the After-School All-Stars which he continuously donates and spends time with. LeBron also donates to a number of different charities but his most admiral attribute is his sincerity. Through all the fame he still makes sure to help build or rebuild schools as well as houses in areas that need help the most. LeBron has also been seen as a voice for those who feel like they don't have one. LeBron James truly characterizes what is means to be a hero.
The way in which you view people is all in your decision. Nobody can tell you who is your hero or who can't be your hero. Although media makes athletes seem to be these super human people, we all know they are not. I don't think every athlete is deserving of the term hero but there are a lot that fall under the role model category. The view is all yours to believe and as long as they acquire the characteristics of a hero who can argue with that.