Iverson good example of bad role model

By Travis Brown
STAR STAFF
tbrown@starhq.com


   The recent tribulation of NBA superstar Allen Iverson has made front page news and seems to be evidence of an alarming trend.
   Mr. Iverson makes millions of dollars annually and I'm sure that he is not concerned with my opinion, however I think these charges against him are sad to say the least.
   A.I. is of course innocent until proven guilty, and for all involved I hope that he is innocent, but the problem I have with the issue is not only the crime, but it's the way this issue is viewed.
   A warrant for his arrest was issued and when faced with the news, Iverson was allowed to stay at his house for a few days before the authorities actually detained him, basically he was allowed to surrender.
   That is utterly ridiculous. If myself or any other citizen who is not a millionaire, had a warrant out for our arrest, they would come to our house and put us in jail. Especially the charges he is faced with.
   It will be interesting to see how justice is done in this case. As we have seen in the past, it is difficult to put millionaires in prison. They just always seem to be innocent or plea bargain their way to freedom. Meanwhile the average citizen would simply go to jail. Period.
   Parents are constantly looking for role models that young people can emulate. Well sadly we are running out of role models in professional sports. Thankfully we still have individuals like Sammy Sosa and some others who take pride in the way they are portrayed and try maintain their dignity. Sammy is from the Dominican Republic and he acts more like a true American than the other athletes that are under the limelight.
   My dad always taught me to lead by example and let others praise your accomplishments, but keep your own mouth shut. Ironic that my dad... Larry Brown said those things. Ironic in that the coach of the 76'ers (Iverson's NBA team) is also Larry Brown... (No relation)
   Apparently the coach of the Sixers should have had the same chat with Iverson, because he obviously lacks the ability to lead by example off the floor. He also likes to put himself on a pedestal.
   Look, I think that Allan Iverson is quite possibly the greatest player in the game of basketball. His talent has revolutionized the position and has made Sixers games exiting to watch.
   It is truly unfortunate that a man in his position, a position of influence over youth, cannot be someone we can all look up to. With great power comes great responsibility, and Mr. Iverson needs a dose of responsibility to go along with his great play.
   In Mr. Iverson's defense, we are all human, and we make mistakes. It is asking a lot of our superstars to be perfect because they are indeed put in the spotlight 24-7. But outbreaks like these are over the line.
   Should he be convicted, I am interested to see what will happen to his contract and his 50 million dollar endorsement deal with Reebok. Most average citizens would loose those things when convicted of a crime.
   But modern marketing teaches us that the "bad boy" image sells merchandise. Chances are they will renegotiate his deal, and get more money in the long run.
   Until the American people stop purchasing this stuff, and until the money is taken out of the picture, businesses will continue to market that image. And crimes like Mr. Iverson's alleged incident will only boost sales.
   I would much rather look up to an athlete for his or her prowess and dignity, not how much they make or how many shoes they sell.