Not all athletes are cool

HS journalism: Column by Clear Creek Amana's Angel Gore

American swimmer Ryan Lochte, shown posing for a photo outside of the swimming venue at this summer’s Olympics, is not a “cool,” athlete, according to Clear Creek Amana sophomore Angel Gore. (Washington Post)
American swimmer Ryan Lochte, shown posing for a photo outside of the swimming venue at this summer’s Olympics, is not a “cool,” athlete, according to Clear Creek Amana sophomore Angel Gore. (Washington Post)

TIFFIN — Athletes are cool as dog memes.

Why, you might ask? Well, it’s most likely because they are crazy-talented at sports and physical activities and basically good at everything, unlike us incompetent Earthlings. Which makes them way cooler, of course. But even some of the most talented popular athletes have flaws. Some of them aren’t as cool as they seem.

Take Ryan Lochte for example. He told Brazilian police while competing at the Rio Olympics a rather extravagant tale of how he and three other swimmers were robbed outside a local gas station. It turned out security guards stopped the swimmers at the gas station after they had committed an act of vandalism, racking up $50 in damages. Lochte backtracked and claimed he “exaggerated” the scenario. Police later found out there was no robbery, only Lochte tearing down a framed poster from the wall and he and a few of his swimming teammates urinating on the outside of the building. The 12-time Olympic medalist lied to police and urinated on the side of a building and now is suspended for a whopping 10 months.

That’s pretty darn uncool.

Another athlete who’s not so great is Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who allegedly beat his 4-year-old son with a switch and a belt. Peterson insisted he is “not a child abuser,” but was sorry for “the hurt he’s brought” upon his son. Peterson told authorities he disciplined his son in the fashion he was disciplined when he was a child in east Texas. Peterson said wrote in a text to his son’s mother that “Never do I go overboard! But all my kids will know, hey daddy has the biggest heart but don’t play no games when it comes to actin’ right.” This, ladies and gentlemen, might just be one of my top 10 favorite quotes. But hitting your 4-year-old kid with a switch probably gets you kicked off the “Cool Dad Committee.”

Pro basketball player Kobe Bryant is a prime example of an athlete who is widely praised even though he did some messed-up stuff. You know the kids who yell “Kobe!” across the room every time they have to throw something away while making a basketball shot, aiming for the trash can at the other end of the classroom. Of course, they usually miss, but when they finally land that solid B English assignment in the black trash can yards away, it is often followed by triumphantly incoherent “dabbing” gestures directed at their fellow classmates — “woo”ing in approval. These are the kids who repeat the newest Kevin Gates songs over and over without even knowing why in the world Kevin Gates would have two phones at the same time, naive to the drug dealing references within his simple lyrics. These kids practically worship Kobe. Why? Because he is a successful basketball player. But what these Black Mamba fans may not know about is his rape case.

On June 30, 2003, Bryant allegedly assaulted and raped a 19-year-old housekeeper in a Colorado hotel. Bryant claimed there was total consent to everything that happened that night. However, the victim claims he choked her and she gave no consent whatsoever, accusing physical assault and rape. The charges were dropped when the accuser decided not to testify. I’m pretty sure rape and assault allegations top the “Not Cool” list, so, my conclusion: the Black Mamba equals not cool.

The moral of the story here is even though some athletes are perceived as some of the coolest people ever just because of their career doesn’t always mean they’re actually as great as you think. Think of your neighbors, family, teachers, peers: if they did anything like this would you still be down for them? Yeah, probably not. So, why do people adore professional athletes if they aren’t actually nice people? The world may never know.



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