This is in response to the gentleman from Lackawanna who took his son to the Buffalo Bills' training camp, only to be disappointed by the lack of cooperation of the players to accommodate the children seeking autographs.
Much of the problem lies with the parents themselves. In light of the behavior shown by so many of today's professional athletes, wouldn't it be wise if parents would actually DISCOURAGE the worship of these so called "role models?" He stated that his son and other children "put them up on a pedestal." Why would a parent allow this? Haven't we seen enough of the greed, drug abuse, DWIs, battering of women, sexual misconduct, neglect of parental responsibilities, etc., demonstrated by so many of them?
The blatant disregard of the wishes of a few young children for autographs is just a tip of the iceberg. Ironically, directly below that gentleman's letter was an article about Jimmy Johnson of the Miami Dolphins and several of his players who are either on trial, right out of prison, or doing community service for past crimes.
I have three boys between the ages of 6 and 12. They are very active in sports. I root for the Bills, but not for the players.
I want them to succeed for the benefit of the city and the area, but I wouldn't take my children across the street to see them. As parents, we should lead by example and encourage our children to respect and admire people like doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers, teachers, community service people, and especially their own parents, rather than the typical professional athlete of today.
JOSEPH R. WALTER