February 25th, 2010
02:34 AM ET

Is Cole's alleged indiscretion big news?

Tiger Woods cheated on his wife. John Terry seems to have done the same and now Ashley Cole is allegedly the most recent to fall off the morality wagon. Shocked? Or just shockingly bored of all the fuss?

Ashley Cole is the latest famous sportsman to fall under the media spotlight for his off-field behavior.
Ashley Cole is the latest famous sportsman to fall under the media spotlight for his off-field behavior.

The media certainly isn’t. In recent weeks, the “outrage” in the British tabloids about celebrity adultery has been a daily affair.

Ask the man on the street, and you’ll find he is not all that indignant. Not to worry. The press has been offended enough for all of us.

But being famous is not the same as being a role model. To my mind, John Terry and Ashley Cole have one responsibility - and that is to perform on the pitch.

That is why clubs pay millions to buy them, that is why fans around the world adore them. Their job is to play good football. And they should be held accountable for that and that alone.

Ashley Cole is a Chelsea defender. He might be able to teach children how to tackle. But why should he have to teach them how to live?

Children should take an example from those directly involved in their own lives.

From the coach of their under-11 football team. From their father on the sidelines. From the men and women who have a direct impact in their lives on a daily basis. Why the buck should be passed to their favourite footballer is beyond me.

From John Terry or Ashley Cole I expect a purely sporting example. Their level of achievement requires dedication, discipline and team spirit. Let’s let the footballers be good at football. Moral guidance can be sought elsewhere.

Watching Tiger Woods apologize to the world was proof enough to me. These sportsmen shouldn’t have to go through the humiliating process of resigning as role models. A position forced upon them simply because of fame and fortune. We just shouldn’t appoint them on those grounds in the first place.

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Filed under:  Football
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. L C

    I think it is a given that a celebrity status and being a role model are in the same package, whether we like it or not. It's not a question of whether they have to be a role model; they already are! No one can decide for others who their role model should or shouldn't be. If you're in the spotlight, you will be seen. The problem is of course any bad news sells. So now it's up to the media if they want to blow it out of proportion till the Plutonians have all heard about it, or keep a sober perspective of the whole thing.

    February 25, 2010 at 6:27 am | Reply
  2. jorgen friis

    sports persons and role models are, in my view, different entities. Sportspersons want to be good at what they are doing as the
    financial rewards increase commensurate wih their performance. It
    is we, the public, that perceive these sportspersons as rolemodels,
    not the other way round. They are role models whether they like it
    or not but necessarily because they want to be. The bottomline, in my
    opinion, is that sportspersons are rolemodels because thats how ,
    the public, perceive them and not because thats what they want to be

    February 25, 2010 at 11:20 am | Reply
  3. alehandro

    What the heck is a role model anyway? Who invented the term? As a kid, does anyone remember looking to a footballer or a pop star or whatever for guidance on how to live? Personally, I looked at my football heroes as an example of how to play football. I wanted to sing or play like my favorite rock stars, I did not look to them for future parenting tips. The media needs to credit "the kids" with some intelligence. Of those old enough to understand the concept of "having an affair", how many of them are unable to discern what's right from what's wrong? And of those who don't know the answer to that question, how many of them will look to a famous stranger to answer it instead of their parents, teachers, or other significant adult? Almost none that's how many. So we should stop saddling random figures of fame with responsibilities they didn't ask for, and which they're only expected to fulfill because of the public/media demand for rich, succesful people to have some sort of cross to bear by way of penance for their good fortune.

    February 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  4. Zizou

    Yes they are role models, but this is Ashley Cole's private life and not public life plus unlike John Terry's case Cole's case is not going to effect any of the team members. Unless of course his performance is effected due to this story. Besides how many left full backs can England loose any way specially now considering that Bridge has pulled out and Cole is not assured of his fitness.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:19 am | Reply
  5. Kealeboga

    Absolute rubbish, celebrity status and being a role model are in no way connected and if you hold that view dispell it. these guys have a job if they do it well get off their cases, they are people with foibles like any one else, if we seek to learn anything from them(and im not saying we necessarily should) it should be to learn from their mistakes and how they lift themselves out of their problems. growing up my Role model was and still is my next door neighbour who did 2 jobs everyday to put his kids through school and still manage to start his own business, he is a modest man but very succesfull as are his kids i was taught the value of decency by an unknown man and it is the responsibility of you the parent to teach your child morals but more importantly to know people are not perfect, they try but in the end we have no right to judge them! get off their case! I'm a M.U fan & believe Cole is a good player, he is good at what he is paid to do get off his case jeeze!! he has family problems that doesn't make him a bad person if you gave yourself time be with your children NOONE can influence them neagtively!! in any case infidelty has since come into fashion. i agree with the Kate.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:31 am | Reply
  6. sportsnotabigdeal

    One doesn't have to be what would be considered a "role model" if one doesn't want to play for teams who's fundamental reason to exist is to sell tickets/merchandise/etc. Once you are employed, its reasonable for the employers to demand behavior which will return the greatest return on their investment. Sponsors don't want their company besmirched by questionable behavior so they have the same types of issues. This is not a terribly complicated concept as to why any athlete who represents a profit based group is held to certain standards of the community.

    February 26, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Reply
  7. E S

    I agree with Kate because our moral guidance comes from our family, our parents not from famous people or footballer in this case.It's up to us to behave well and not make the same mistakes as them.We must be authentic.

    February 28, 2010 at 4:20 am | Reply
  8. Job Ogutu

    i have to disagree with you Kate; these players are people young children- especially young boys look up to. this applies more so to kids in Africa and a majority of the developing world. seeing players like Drogba, E'too, Kanoute, Muntari inspires us as we grow up. we develop a huge admiration not only in the way they play their football, but also in the manner they handle their lives! a good example is Drogba's Charity foundation in the Ivory Coast; such a gesture goes deep into the hearts of the youth in Africa who thus get inspired to achieve greater things in life and even give back!
    i agree with you that their main business ought to be on the pitch but then with the fanaticism that grows inside sport lovers spreads from the sport, to the sportsman- i'm glad Tiger apologised! he realised how much young fans look up to him! i'm not trying to imply that JT ought to apologise, but i think if he does so, the respect and support he'd receive from his fans (especially the young fans) will immensely grow.
    Conclusion- yes, these football players whether they like it or not, are role models. that does not mean that they have to act like Saints but they have an obligation to set a good example to their young fans. RESPECT- that's what it's all about Kate.

    March 1, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  9. Wattyathink

    The bottom line is "abuse of authority" sports stars (I believe) have no authority, much like any other celebrity. Unfortunately, many believe just because you make the big bucks as a celebrity or sports star (for example) then you become somekind of a role model outside your area of expertise. Not so. If you have authority and abuse it in a sexual way or otherwise then you should be held responsible .... as held for by many different laws ..., nevertheless, even this tenant falls flat as we have seen many examples where persons in authority are not held to example.

    March 1, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  10. Risky Charles

    It is rather shameful what these top sportsmen did to their partners and to view that from a bigger picture, who are we to judge them ?
    This is a private and personal matters and only thier partners owe them apology and no one else.Most of the press / media have blown things out of proportion in other to destroy them,and to sell thier news-papers or magazines.The press in some way encourage these 'ladies' to come forward to sell thier stories for big money and that is very pity for most of the stories are fabricated and on top who cares what Mr or Mrs does in his own private life. These sport personalities are treated like criminals because aparently they might have had an improper relation with a female other than their partners and guys remember , this is not first and it won't be the last cos thats how human beings are. Please leave these guys alone and Kate you are one of the few female journalist who is very objective and impartial about this episode. God bless u babe.

    March 19, 2010 at 5:09 am | Reply
  11. Gunnar Kuehn

    totally agree with you Kate.

    by the way, I have watched the drab CNN world sports for years now and you have to be the most welcome addition to the crew for years. Contrary to that "other" female reporter with all her prejudices and monotonous rambling, who simply for years only served to corroberate the ( erroneous ) idea that female reporters should stay out of male sports reporting, you have proven that female reporters can stand up to the men and in fact can even be better and more exciting in what used to be predominantly a man`s turf.

    go for it Kate!

    May 9, 2010 at 3:46 am | Reply
  12. Ojo

    The truth is that this can happen to anybody. I think the media put the news out of proportion thereby adding more to the injury. The world we are living in is full of beatiful seducing faces and out of a thousand you might fall for one.I hope their wives understand this.

    My only advice here is that they should try and get themselves castrated, maybe their women will like them that way.Or else, they should learn to find a solution as families not piping out to the gossip media.

    May 30, 2010 at 1:43 am | Reply
  13. Alex

    really. i didnt expect this article from a woman. but its great read. i believe a part of why the tabloids are all over this is because of the lack of morale and that it is still interesting to the readers.??

    July 28, 2010 at 2:39 am | Reply
  14. Alex

    Btw "what would George Costanza say"?

    July 28, 2010 at 2:42 am | Reply
  15. Rony

    well.......you are quite right..........

    July 28, 2010 at 3:04 am | Reply
  16. ken mcintyre

    a quick note.. Vancouver canucks rhymes with ducks

    April 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Reply

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