A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
NFL Rhodes Scholar Retires to Attend Medical School and Nobody Knows Since He Wasn’t Arrested
By David Watts On April 26, 2013
In under-reported news last week, Myron Rolle announced his retirement from professional football and says he plans to attend medical school. At the age of 26, he’s ready to take on a new challenge in life and become a neurosurgeon like his childhood hero Ben Carson. In the wake of his retirement, as well as his decision to postpone his playing career, the question we should ask ourselves is why hasn’t the media paid more attention to the recent developments of Myron Rolle. In light of all his past and future accomplishments, the media has largely ignored Mr. Rolle in favor of many athletes who become notorious for breaking the law. Had Rolle gone broke or bankrupt last week, do you think it would have been reported more vigorously?
For those who haven’t heard about Myron Rolle, here are two important questions to ask. First, who is he? Second, why haven’t I heard of him? For a young man with so much gift and promise, I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out why hasn’t the sports crazed media continually used him as a poster boy on how our student-athletes and professional athletes should strive to carry themselves.
Born in Houston, Texas and raised primarily in Galloway, New Jersey, Myron first attracted national attention as a senior prep star at the Hun School of Princeton in 2006. With over 80 scholarships offers to play college football, he chose to attend football powerhouse Florida State University. While at Florida State University, Myron majored in pre-med, and held a 3.75 GPA. All the while, Myron started all three years and earned All American consideration. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in 2.5 years and was a team leader both on and off the field. At the end of his time at Florida State, he would be named a Rhodes Scholar at the prestigious Oxford University in London, England.
Faced with the decision of either choosing to be a high draft choice in the NFL or go to Oxford University, Myron passed on an opportunity to make millions of dollars by postponing his NFL career to further his education in 2009. After successfully completing one year at Oxford, he entered the 2010 draft and surprisingly went from being a first or second round draft choice to the last pick of the sixth round. He spent two years playing for the Tennessee Titans and was released by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2012. Rolle’s recent decision to pursue medical school came despite continued interest from NFL teams.
We live in a world where crime and drama dominates the attention of the public eye, but has it gotten to the point where negativity out -weighs positivity? Have we reached a point of no return in which we’d rather be bombarded with images that reinforce stereotypes or ones that debunk them? It’s important for the media to be truthful and hold individuals accountable for their actions, but it’s also important for news coverage to be balanced. We must hear about stories of athletes like Myron Rolle and many other athletes across the country who are great role models for our impressionable children.
All too often, as a society, we can highlight a problem, never offering any solutions for restoration or improvement. I have taken the liberty to offer a few recommendations on how we can encourage and promote positive actions from student-athletes and professional athletes across the country. They are as follows:
- Encourage sporting publications like Sports Illustrated and others to strategically create a small section of their magazines to feature articles of athletes who are making a positive impact in their communities.
- Encourage high schools and colleges to promote academic achievement by highlighting student-athletes who not only excel in their sport but also in the classroom. This can be done by featured stories on the internet, radio, school newspaper, and special acknowledgement during sporting events.
- Encourage local newspapers to honor scholar student-athletes and student-athletes who go above and beyond with community service by creating feature stories and special all-academic/all community service teams.
- Encourage professional sports organizations to incentivize positive work in the community through contract negotiations.
Individuals in the media (print or tv) will tell you the reason why they focus so much on reckless behavior of athletes is because it sells. They’ll say it’s because the public really doesn’t care about positive stories such as academic achievement, community service, and humanitarianism. I don’t thinks that’s true, so it’s up to us as consumers and viewers to let these corporations know that we are tired of being spoon fed the negative headlines involving athletes. We need to let them know that we want to hear and see positive stories about our athletes. Until they hear our voices as a collective unit, they’ll continue to provide us with the status quo that doesn’t seek to empower, inspire or uplift anyone!