In today’s society celebrity sport stars earn millions of pounds through sponsorship deals and endorsements. Such global stars like Tiger Woods and David Beckham are majorly influential to young people and importantly are seen as role models. But how can the success of the celebrity stars effect normal people’s aspirations? Is there too much pressure on children today to live up to their heroes? Are normal people feeling under valued because they don’t have a contract with Nike or Adidas worth extortionate amounts of money?
George Best use to play football for Manchester United in the 1960’s; he was regarded as one of the first football fashion icons. At an incredibly young age he was a great footballer, style icon, a sex symbol and a pop star all rolled into one. Some people even dubbed him the fifth Beatle. For a country that has had its fair share of rich and famous footballers over the last couple of decades that is still some achievement. George was seen as one of the first sportsman to be branded as a sex symbol to teenage girls and an artist of his trade to teenage boys. He was considered the first British footballer to genuinely contend to be the world’s best, a modal for future players to aspire to in both football and fashion.
Although in the later years of George’s career he became more interested in women and partying, he once famously said “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.” Evidently he had completely lost his way and in 2005 he sadly lost his fight against alcohol dependency.
12 October 1976 NL-HaNA, ANEFO/ neg. stroken
It just goes to show that effects of fame and wealth can have dangerous consequences as well as a glamorous lifestyle. This may be the reason why young people look up to sporting icons as heroes. Simply because they can see the glitz and the glamour. But what they don’t see is what goes on behind closed doors. It’s true that looking to an inspirational figure is great for young people to aspire too however young people should not have to feel the pressure of trying to become the next David Beckham or George Best. In no way should people feel undervalued if their dream does not work out the way they wanted it to. There is a lot of pressure in today’s society to make something of yourself and for self-recognition however the Hanging Out Project believe that if you are happy and contempt with what you are doing then there is no reason to feel inadequate when comparing yourself to a mega rich sports athlete.
It’s important to recognise the people around you because they are what is driving us to strive and succeed. Our heritage is real and although celebrity sports stars talent can not be doubted, they are no way going to personally help you to strive to where you want to be or pick you up when you fall down. The people sat in your living rooms; our family and friends will always be there for you and love you unconditionally. That is one thing you cannot get from watching your favourite sports stars. Former Liverpool manager of the 1960’s, Bill Shankly one said, “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I'm very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”
Hanging Out writer