Ger Gilroy: Are real role models finally emerging?
Published 15/07/2015 | 02:30
Our whole issue of using - or maybe forcing - sports people to be role models always struck me as anomalous.
Sport requires its stars to have a bit of badness along the way to make it. The elite have a ruthlessness that if translated to real life makes them cantankerous outliers.
So if you decide that you don't want your kids to act like elite sports people, then you're asking them to aspire to the middle of the pack and eulogising a comfortable mediocrity? Meh.
Moreover we don't really ask any other group in society to be better than us as consistently as our sports people. No-one believes in our media or consultants or lawyers or politicians as role models.
But occasionally people worthy of being role models arrive and upset this thinking.
Ashling Thompson's freely told story of her battle with depression is inspiring and needs to find as wide an audience as possible. Trevor Hogan's political activism would give you hope too that sport is finding a voice.
Are things changing or are these the outliers? It's up for grabs now.