Are Sports Stars Heroes?

martin.jpgFormer New York Giants football player, George Martin, started a cross country walk this week to raise money for rescue and recovery workers who helped at ground zero of the World Trade Center on 9/11. He believes the people who risked their health, careers, and lives are heroes and gives a great response to those who would call him a football hero.

“I’ve been termed a hero for playing a kids’ game at a pro level, and that does not rise to the level of heroic.”

9 Responses to Are Sports Stars Heroes?

  1. Kessel September 17, 2007 at 7:39 pm #

    Professional sports players aren’t heroic for playing their game. True, they have the opportunity to be heroes because of the money they make from the sport they play…but people who don’t play sports do truly inspiring things every day.

    That’s not saying that there isn’t a single hero among all the sports stars. It’s just saying that they aren’t one simply because they play a game.

  2. Erik September 17, 2007 at 9:11 pm #

    not very reassuring when you see things like this

  3. Matt Langdon September 17, 2007 at 10:45 pm #

    I saw that story too. So many sports stars can’t even manage to be role models, let alone heroes.

  4. Kit September 19, 2007 at 12:44 am #

    I think with sports stars, the difference between and inspiring and heroic must be accurately assessed. It is easy to hail an athlete as a hero for work ethic, exceptional prowess on the field, a good role model etc, but does this make them heroic? I agrree with Steve, in a lot of cases…not.

    What are people’s thoughts on Lance Armstrong (assuming for now he did not take performance enhancing drugs)?

    Winning 5 Tour de France in a row is truly an athletic achievement, especially after cancer, but does this still warrant a heroic ‘title’? I can never decide…he showed courage. hard work, persistence through adversity and many other attributes….

  5. Kit September 19, 2007 at 12:46 am #

    Here is an interesting point of view from the ‘My Hero Project’….

    “I consider him a hero for overcoming testicular cancer and creating the Lance Armstrong Foundation to help other cancer patients. He is loyal, trustworthy, and an excellent influence on young people like myself. Lance is a hero who is determined to do anything life demands. Like Lance always says, “I decided I was going to win.” – Hugo Montvale

    Here is a link to the complete article –

  6. Matt Langdon September 19, 2007 at 8:17 am #

    That’s exactly what I was going to say Kit. I think Lance Armstrong is considered a hero not only for the cycling and cancer accomplishments, but also for what he did with his foundation in raising awareness.

  7. Samantha January 17, 2008 at 10:32 pm #

    i think george martin IS a hero, in my eyes, he came and talked at our school today, and his words inspired me :), thanx for the atograph 😀

  8. Manny August 28, 2009 at 2:19 pm #

    I agree that these athletes and sports stars are heroes to the networks, sponsors, and club owners that they make money for; and yes these factors all contribute to our North American economy. However, to delegate a title as “Hero” to a spots athletes is clearly the work of promoters who make a living on this basis. I think whenever someone in the media uses this title on an athlete they should be made responsible for justifying their choice of words.

    Hero in the comic book sense of the word has always been some one who dedicates their lives to the point of risking their own lives to save others; in this case the economy is surviving, the owners get rich, employees keep their jobs, at (least until someone in an accounting department figures out how to delegate work elsewhere and save labour), and the Sports hero gets rich, plus there is the added bonus, that if this athlete is not domesticated, he or she goes out on the town and makes an ass of themselves for all the world to see including our children.

    I’m not angry towards athletes I love pro. sports, but to me they are celebrities, catching a ball, swinging a stick, putting a ball through a basket, or putting a tiny ball in a hole is a pretty pathetic excuse for a hero. If I war a soldier in Afghanistan I would wonder why I am there, or if I where a fire fighter, bragging a 300lbs pound man down a flight of stairs in 350 degree heat for $500000.00 a year I would wonder is this worth it, and not to mention If I were a nurse working the graveyard shift to feed my family, and having to sedate a “sports hero” after a drunken fight at a bar while I was sworn at repeatedly, I would have to say, why is this animal making millions while I actually work for peanuts.

    I only want to finish with this, God is divine,soldiers march for our safety, doctors save lives, volunteers are the backbone of our economy, the police go unappreciated, soup kitchens are open, and with little support, clergy of all religions work around the clock, moms and dads around the world struggle to raise their families; finally who really is the hero


  1. Sports Players as Role Models « The Hero Workshop - October 15, 2007

    […] by Matt Langdon on October 15th, 2007 I’ve written about whether sports stars can be considered heroes and the general feeling mimics the words of George Martin, “I’ve been termed a hero for playing […]