Reasons No. 1039431 and 1039432 to NOT idolize athletes

Like Charles Barkley said, "I'm not a role model."

Sad part is, most athletes are role models if they like it or not. It crosses all ages and races, too. No matter what they do, athletes will always be role models for better or worse.

We've heard it thousands of times, don't idolize athletes or celebrities. They don't make good role models. Sure, there are some good guys, there always are. But for every Jim Thome there's a Michael Vick or a O.J. Simpson.

And we're assuming Thome is as good-hearted as he appears to be.

And look, I'm not saying Steve McNair is on the same level as a some of those other scumbags. He didn't kill anyone as far as we know and he sounds like a man who was very interested in giving back to the community.

But the praise should stop there.

He's not a good guy because he cheated on his wife and in turn cheated his kids out of being a good father.

I'm tired of all this warrior talk on the football field and how I should think about that if I were to mourn him. That means nothing. He was just an athlete and a great one.

Thats it.

He was a coward off the field because he got into a relationship with a 20-year-old girl and didn't get a divorce, instead dragging this on in secret until his shocking death.

Take Michael Jordan as an example. Now I'll never look at him as the God-like figure I used to when I was growing up. The gambling problems and his divorce tainted that image for me. He settled a lawsuit with some other woman he was seeing while he was still married to his wife and so on.

The point is, Jordan is human just like McNair is but it doesn't mean they are excused from the rules of society just because they are athletes.

We read everyday about athletes cheating on their wives while on the road. It always made me sick to think about it.

People make mistakes, I get that. Perhaps McNair shouldn't be defined by his final one but it sure seems like he will.

So until I hear otherwise I'll tip my cap to the Thome's and Kurt Warner's of the world even if I'm not their biggest fans as players.

At least they did it the right way.

I hope.

Photo Credit: News of the World