By Stefanos Gregoriou, The Sports Financial Literacy Academy
Being a successful athlete comes with many privileges as well as responsibilities. Fame, fortune, and recognition are some of the rewards that come from achieving greatness in sport. However, with these rewards come equally as many responsibilities. Athletes should be careful about what they do on and off the pitch, as their actions can affect the perceptions of their fans and society at large. Balancing the luxurious life of being an athlete with the numerous responsibilities that come with fame can be a struggle, but it is nevertheless possible.
An important aspect of managing the privileged life of an athlete is giving back to the community to make a positive impact. Many athletes are using their platforms and resources to make a difference through charitable giving, volunteering, speaking out on social issues, and more. By using their fame and success for common good, athletes do not only bring about change that actually matters, but also gain a sense of purpose beyond their sport. For example, Michael Jordan donated $100 million to promote racial equality and social justice, while LeBron James started the “I Promise” school in Akron, Ohio, to help underprivileged kids. These actions demonstrate how athletes can use their resources and influence to address social issues and have meaningful influence over people’s lives.
Of course, with great power comes great responsibility, and athletes must also be mindful of the impact they have on their fans and society as a whole. Thus, leading by example on and off the field, and using their power to promote values such as equality, diversity, and inclusion is crucial. In recent years, we’ve seen athletes such as LeBron James and Colin Kaepernick use their fame to speak out about social issues and make a difference in their communities. Kaepernick used his platform to bring attention to police brutality against Black people, while James has been active in speaking out against racism.
Athletes also need to be careful about how they choose to use their fame and fortune. This includes staying away from illegal activities, substance abuse, avoiding public controversies, and being respectful to others. Athletes who fail to uphold these responsibilities can damage not only their reputation but also their health and wellbeing. After all, leading a balanced and fulfilling life is not an easy task, especially when constantly being in the public eye. This requires great discipline, planning, and a strong support system.
For those who can overcome these challenges, the rewards can be immense. From the thrill of winning on the field to the satisfaction of making a positive impact on the world, athletes have the potential to achieve great things both for themselves and for society. All in all, being an athlete is not just about winning games and making money. It is also about using their platform to make an impact that truly matters, and ultimately making the world a better place.
The Money Smart Athlete® Blog is established and run by the Sports Financial Literacy Academy® (SFLA). Through its education programs, the SFLA has the vision to financially educate and empower athletes of all ages to become better people, not just better athletes. For more information on our courses, our SFLA Approved Trainer Program®, and how they can benefit you and your clients, please get in touch with us at [email protected].