Athletes are more than just entertainers, people feel that if someone is granted the God given abilities to thrive in athletics they somehow must not be educated or lack the brains to make an educated statement. The other day, a FOX news reporter said that LeBron James should do nothing but basically “shut up and dribble” due to the lack of him not having a college degree.
LeBron has been one of the most polarizing figures in sports since the early 2000’s. Off the court LeBron has been one of the most charitable athletes in recent history, he has given millions to multiple different organizations within the Cleveland area as well as all around the country. LeBron James is someone who has constantly held himself to a higher standard and has always handled himself in a professional manner.
Athletes are the role models of an unimaginable amount of children and adults all over the world. As role models, they are given the task to always make sure that they do whatever they feel is necessary or what is right regardless of what the situation may be. As a former Division One athlete that has played in front of tens of thousands of people on TV, it hurts when people say athletes do not have the right to speak up. I am college educated, I’m in the process of completing my master’s degree.
In today's society athletes can be perceived as modern day slaves. Certain members of society feel that athletes have one purpose in life and that is to entertain them. Athletes seemed to be stripped of their 1st Amendment right whenever they speak out or protest something they are passionate about. People always say, “just play the game, that’s what your paid to do”.
They are right, athletes are payed to play a game. On the same note athletes will not tell Frank the mechanic “just fix cars, that’s what your paid to do” if they were to say something of that nature that person would complain about not being given their right to speak out about something. We live in a culture where you can be downgraded or looked at as unequal if you are an athlete.
Many do not know that majority of the players in the NFL hold college degrees from some of most prestigious schools in the country, some of them even hold multiple degrees. A lot of the time the athletes that do happen to leave school early to pursue the chances of becoming a professional often return in some capacity to obtain their college degree.
Often times people do not see that, they see a puppet in pads or a jersey that is just supposed to play the game and have no opinions on what is going on in the world. Even without a college degree, we are all still citizens of this country and a degree does not mean anything.
Some of the most successful people in the world do not have a college degree.
One day we will no longer be able to play the great game that we love and will go out in to the work force like most of the country. But just because we have not done that yet, does not mean we do not have the right t speak up. Do not demoralize us because we are in the 1% of America that have succeed in sports to an unprecedented level.
We will NEVER shut up!