It goes without being said that the New York spotlight is something you just can’t hide from. Especially, if you are an athlete in the bright lights. The road to New York City isn’t easy.
No matter where you came from, no matter what you earned before you got here, you better come prepared. In New York, you have to prove that you belong here. You have to prove that you have what it takes. You have to give the kids on the corner, a reason to talk about you. You must own the spotlight, but you have to own it for the right reasons.
In the past few years, we have seen our beloved New York stars hit the tabloids for the wrong reasons. The stars of the past such as Alex Rodriguez and even the stars of today like Odell Beckham Jr. have all hit the news for all the wrong reasons.
We now live in a generation so media-oriented that at a click of a button, a swipe on a phone, or one tweet we can now see into the life of professional athletes. So the real question is, can we trust our athletes to control the future of our children? In New York and even around the world, athletes have been letting us down. Not on the field, the hardwood, or the diamond but on the streets.
In the past, the media world used to be much different, so it was a lot easier for athletes to get away with things. However, athletes today need to adapt to the new culture we live in and take advantage of the platform they are on. In the past, big time athletes such as Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, A-Rod and many other prominent athletes peaked while performing only to reach the very bottom when facts about their personal lives came out.
Many parents nowadays are wondering if we should trust athletes again. In New York, children are watching every move these athletes make, there isn’t an escape route. If you turn on the TV, the radio, or even pick up a newspaper news about these athletes is right there.
Children want to be just like them, mimicking almost every move. Just recently last season, we saw Odell Beckham Jr. throw a temper tantrum on the sideline which caused millions of young fans to think this is okay. This is the kind of event that cannot be shown to the next generation.
Every athlete is human. Every athlete, however, needs to hold themselves to a higher standard. Realistically in big-time cities like New York, all fans want from the athletes is to act as a role model when they are off of their field of play.
It is embarrassing for athletes to not embrace the little kid in them. We have all been there. The future generation of athletes is in the current athlete’s hands and that is scary. All it matters, in the end, is that we are showing the youth that we are trying to be the best version of ourselves. Take a stand, athletes. It is your time to shine.