Former NBA legend turned NBA broadcaster Charles Barkley has made many memorable statements over the years; however the one that has stuck with me, was when he uttered the simple phrase in a commercial “I am not a role model.” Regular readers of these pages are well aware of my views on professional athletes being role models for children; the only lessons that children should learn from pro athletes is how to successfully play the sport that they star in.
If your children are learning their moral values from one of today’s professional athletes; then you are derelict in your duties as a parent in my opinion. Ideally, a child’s moral compass should be in tune with a parent or family member, or perhaps a teacher or community leader. Although I have met many quality people in covering pro sports since 1995; they are not the first people who jump into my head when trying to come up with a figure for young people to emulate.
The latest example of an NBA player acting the fool is Washington Wizards rookie forward Chris Singleton, who made headlines not by his play on the hardwood; but rather for his spending habits as the former Florida State Player spent $10,000 in tickets trying to win $640 million in the Mega-Millions Lottery drawing. Singleton last week announced on his Twitter account “I’m about to drop 10000 on the lottery and cross my fingers.”
The “Associated Press” contacted the first-year forward on Monday, and he stated that he indeed follow through on his Tweet and dropped ten grand on tickets for the lottery. Singleton told reporters that although he did not get a share of the big prize. he did win some money back; however he was unaware of the sum he did win as he had yet to go through all his tickets. The forward said that he had to go a bunch of different stores to buy all the tickets he wanted; since no one outlet could satisfy his demands.
When the rookie was asked whether he regretted spending the sum he did with so little return on his investment, he replied that he was not. He said that if the money was not spent on the tix it would have been blown on something equally frivolous; “either that or blowing it in the clubs.”
Singleton was selected number 18 by the Wizards in the first round of the NBA Draft last June and is reportedly earning $1,450,000 for the season so It would be like loosing about $100 for you and me. However all the 22-year-old forward has to do is scan the headlines to read about former Boston Celtics All-Star Antoine Walker who declared bankruptcy as he was $12 million in debt; after making over $110 million during his career in the Association.
The young man really did nothing wrong as his act was not illegal or immoral; there were no drugs or weapons involved and nobody was hurt other than himself by his actions. Still, one has to hope that when Singleton’s future child looks his dad up on Google, he sees more than the story of his father spending ten grand on lottery tickets in his rookie campaign.