As kids, dressing up for Halloween felt like choosing your destiny. The coolest movie characters, favorite music artists and the hottest trends were all contenders for popular costumes. For one day, you could be whatever and whoever you aspired to be.
When trick-or-treating or attending costume parties, you are bound to see a jersey of some sort. To many people, jerseys are everyday casual wear, but others dedicate the holiday to cosplaying as their idols.
A little boy fully dressed in football pads with an oversized Rob Gronkowski jersey and a little girl in eye black dressed as Alex Morgan take on the persona of their favorite athletes.
It is easy to put professional athletes on a pedestal. Athletes are humans too, and we have to respect that. They also need to respect that they have a large platform where many people see every action, and the negatives are highlighted.
In recent news, Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton was suspended for 25 games. During a drug test, he tested positive for an illegal diuretic. What was found in his system was banned after the league found it was popularly used to flush illegal drugs from players’ bodies.
Ayton claims it was unintentional and that he was unaware of what the repercussions would entail.
Ayton played at UA and began the 2018-19 season as the No. 1 overall draft pick. A young, local player on the struggling, rebuilding Suns is someone kids can look up to.
Not only is he someone who has disappointed his teammates and coaching staff, but also the young fans whose parents will not let them collect candy while wearing his jersey.
On the other hand, Halloween costumes are all fun and games — people dress up as Michael Myers and inflatable dinosaurs for goodness sake.
Children usually do not dress up without influence and confirmation from their parents. I doubt they want their kids sporting someone who already has negative press in their second year in the NBA.
Ayton is young, and we all make mistakes. But if you are going to accept such a large job with great influence, please understand you are now impacting the minds of others.
Despite having a large influence and household name, someone who has kept out of the press completely is Mike Trout.
He is an eight-time MLB All-Star, two-time MVP and six-time Silver Slugger Award winner.
He has played in the league since 2011 but has managed to keep his name out of anything that sheds a negative light.
I am sure as these athletes are partying they are not thinking of children wearing their jerseys around a suburban neighborhood. However, these are small things to stay conscious of.