One of the things I love about ChicagoNow is how it provides a forum of well-articulated people to profess their thoughts and opinions. A great article from this website, which made the front page of the ChicagoTribune.com website is done by Chicago Chivalry. If you haven't read @gwillchi's article yet, please do so before you proceed to read mine.
I was pleased to read how Chicago Chivalry recognizes that his post should not be contrived as, "Derrick Rose is not a role model" but instead, acknowledging he is. However, where the debate can spark is if Jeremy Lin is more of a role model than Derrick Rose is. Chicago Chivalry claims Lin is a better role model because due to the racial comments the likes of boxer Floyd Mayweather and two ESPN.com editors made over the past 2 weeks, Lin has taken the high road by not commenting on them. By Jeremy Lin not commenting on racist remarks about him and the Asian community doesn't make him a better role model, it makes him a very smart, PR-savvy athlete. Knowing any sort of comment, especially to the New York media, Lin may have very well known to turn away from this topic to prevent a potential Public Relations nightmare. So, I wouldn't be so quick to tag him as a "better role" model than Derrick Rose.
Lastly, I wouldn't go as far as to say that being a good, humble civilian should be "customary" for all athletes because nowadays, it's not. How many times have you seen a professional athlete gain so much success, see their bank account exponentially grow and shows an ounce of class Lin or Rose shows? Unfortunately not too many. I know there's a narcissistic superstar in Miami Beach who isn't. Are you fully aware of the stories of Terrell Owens, Allen Iverson, Pacman Jones, and Floyd Mayweather? Unfortuantely, the opinion of civility among professional athletes is low, and it should be. It's already difficult to expect regular people without success and wealth to have humility and be a good civilian so why should the expectation be higher for athletes? In an ideal world, all athletes would defer to their teammates, thank their coaches, and not have ulterior motives. But remember, we don't live in an ideal world...
The Rose and Lin stories are great stories. Rose who grew up in Englewood, one of the highest murder rates in a Chicago neighborhood, kept his focus on a basketball instead of a Smith & Wesson pistol. Lin, a Harvard grad who was almost a game away from being cut for the third time in one season, becomes a National, possibly worldwide sensation overnight. Both are humble people who defer the attention to their teammates and look awkward in their personal success. Both are good people, no more, no less than the other. They are both fresh air to an imperfect world. Let's just be happy that we can add another role model to the children of America.