As sports have continued to become increasingly popular, athletes have become much more popular among fans and media members. Many young fans look up to these players as role models, with the NBA being home to a group of superstars who fit that mold. But it's not a role that all players are comfortable with, and some NBA players resent the notion that they should be considered role models for these young fans.
Michael Jordan agrees with Charles Barkley's opinion on whether or not NBA players should be role models
One player who was vocal about the fact that he didn't want to be a role model for fans throughout his career was Charles Barkley. Barkley believed that just because he was good at basketball didn't make him a role model, and he has always tried to stay away from that label, even in his post-playing career, to an extent.
In his playing career, Barkley often bumped into Michael Jordan, who was arguably the biggest role model for young fans during his time in the league. Barkley and Jordan haven't always agreed with each other or been on the best of terms. Still, Jordan said that he can agree with Barkley's stance on whether NBA players should be considered role models. It's interesting to hear, considering Jordan often got roped into the role model conversation more than anyone in the history of the league.
"When he (Barkley) came out and said, 'I'm not a role model.' I realized we're really not. We assume that responsibility because of the respect we're given. But we can't tell these kids they can be us. When he first came out with that, I was like, 'Wow, he's right.' Because your parents are your role models, or your grandparents or your aunt." Michael Jordan said in an interview with GQ
Michael Jordan's take on being a role model is fascinating
As previously mentioned, Jordan was the role model of role models during his career. Everyone who played basketball wanted to be like Jordan, which resulted in him drawing praise from basketball fans all around the world. But it was never a role Jordan was totally comfortable with, so in a sense, it's not entirely surprising that he agrees with Barkley's stance on this subject.
These fans all look up to NBA players because they want to make it to the NBA one day themselves, thus landing many of these players in the role model category. But for the most part, that doesn't necessarily ring true. Aside from basketball, in which Jordan rightly states these fans can't become their favorite player, what makes these players worthy of being role models?
Some players go above and beyond and work on ingraining themselves in the community their team is based, but some players also set bad examples for fans on the other hand. We have seen countless examples of each side of the argument, and both sides have cases. But Jordan never liked his superstar status during his career, and it appears he doesn't want to be anyone's role model either.