While making my rounds around the Chicago Tribune website, I stumbled upon an Opinion Piece written by Mark Yost. You can find the article here. Since Rose signed his $94.8 million contact a week ago, admiration for Derrick Rose's humility and his rags to riches story re-emerged front and center since his MVP Press Conference back in May.
In one hand, I firmly believe athletes should not be held the responsibility of being a role model, a la Charles Barkley however in the other hand, it is acceptable for a 14 year old boy living in Barrington or Englewood to look up to the likes of a Derrick Rose as a role model.
Yost writes, "First is the false promise that many of these kids can grow up to be just like Rose. It is simply a fairy tale. Of all the kids in America who play high school basketball, about 3 percent end up getting college scholarships" which may be true however is it wrong for a teenager who is raised in an impoverished neighborhood to look at Rose, and give themselves belief that IT MAY HAPPEN? Although the odds to succeed for a young male raised in neighborhoods like Englewood are fairly low, Derrick Rose is an exceptional blueprint for success. Yost fails to realize that Rose's idolization is not because he bounces a basketball well however Rose worked extremely hard at his craft (in this case it's basketball) and Rose treats everyone with respect. Youths shouldn't look at Rose and say, "Basketball is going to be my only way out of these projects" but "If I work hard enough, I can be set up for success"
In my definition, a Role Model is someone you want to emulate to where one day, you yourself can reach your ultimate goal. The reason why we have Role Models like Derrick Rose, Barack Obama, and even the polarizing Tim Tebow is because one day, we hope to be successful like them. Without role models, where would Derrick Rose be today?