The true athlete should have character not be a character

Jack - Houston, Texas
Entered on April 17, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: integrity, sports

I believe the statement former UCLA Head Basketball Coach John Wooden once said, “The true athlete should have character and not be a character.” You have players like Adam Pacman Jones who plays for the NFL team Tennessee Titans getting arrested for charges like assault and for incidents at night clubs like getting into fights. In addition to that Michael Vick former Quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons gets arrested for holding Dog Fighting at his house and holding executions of dogs that did not win. And finally you have Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, and other major league baseball players who are taking steroids to gain an advantage in their sport. People who look up to them like high school baseball players are now doing the same thing and are dying from it. These examples show that athletes with bad character affect the youth today.

There are some athletes that have character and are not characters. NBA player Dikembe Mutombo is an excellent example of this. He has started a foundation to construct hospitals in his native country of Congo. Dikembe has personally donated close to 30 millions dollars for the hospitals to be constructed. That shows an athlete that has character. Another example of an athlete that has character and isn’t a character is professional golfer Tiger Woods. He has made a character development program part of his foundation which has reached an enrollment of over 4.5 million kids and continues to help kids achieve their dreams. The last example of an athlete that has character and isn’t a character is professional baseball player Albert Pujols. He started the Pujols Family Foundation for kids with Down syndrome. The foundation promotes awareness, provides hope and meets tangible needs for families and children who live with Down syndrome. And the foundation provides extraordinary experiences for children with disabilities or life threatening illnesses. It improves the standard of living and quality of life for impoverished children in the Dominican Republic through education, medical relief and tangible goods.

In conclusion I believe that if there were more athletes that have character like Dikembe Mutombo, Tiger Woods, and Albert Pujols and were not characters like Adam Jones, Michael Vick, Barry Bonds, and Jason Giambi it would better for our youth who look up to them, this I believe.