How should athletes project themselves to others outside of sports?

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Photo courtesy of CBS News

By Ian Jackson
Staff Reporter

Everyday there is at least one athlete doing something that he or she should not do that could damage their reputation as an athlete as well as a human being.

The Ryan Lochte gas station incident became an embarrassment during the 2016 Rio Olympics, and Hope Solo who was regarded as the best women’s soccer goalkeeper in the world, but her comments after the U.S. team’s loss to Sweden got her in trouble and her contract was terminated.

It is instances like that which made it seem outrageous to the public on how athletes cannot control themselves and keep their composure, because professional athletes are watched all the time and just one slip up can damage you big time

Students and faculty at Roosevelt University gave their thoughts  on how athletes should project themselves outside of their job.

John Jaramillo, adjunct sports hospitality instructor at Roosevelt said there must be an understanding of possible repercussions when it comes to what an athlete says or does, especially with the immediacy offered by social media at hand.

“When it comes to public image, athletes must juggle their responsibility to represent their team while being true to their unique personalities. There is immense value, from fan interaction to enhanced affinity for an athlete and that athlete’s organization, when an athlete can communicate with an authentic voice,” Jaramillo said.

Jaramillo discussed the recent controversial tweets in baseball the events at the Rio Olympics.

“An athlete’s opinion or action can have adverse effects on the reputation of that athlete and his or her organization and, subsequently, affect that athlete’s future employment and sponsorship opportunities.” Jaramillo said.

Richard Banks, a 28-year old senior Journalism major gives his viewpoint on how athletes should act.

“When you are an athlete, you are in the spotlight. It gets hard to act in public because you are always under surveillance and it is not what they signed up for,” Banks said. “You’re supposed to be a role model for the kids, so they will not be following their footsteps leading into the wrong direction.”

Fans always look up to these athletes and if you do something wrong, fans sometimes think that it is cool to do and that is the wrong message athetes are trying to send to them.

Brian Donahue, CSI coordinator at Roosevelt University, said he thinks it’s powerful that they’re getting their message out there.

“It’s important to understand who is deciding what the athlete has said or done that is damaging to their reputation. People need to consider the people thinking that it is reflecting bad on the university which they represent or the sports team or the national association,” Donahue said. “But in terms of recent events such as the Michael Rose-Ivy situation, that are representing their platform in a powerful way.”

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