As anyone who doesn't live under a rock knows by now, Tiger Woods is sorry for stuff. He never explicitly stated just what, exactly, he was offering his "profound apology" for, though presumably it had something to do with the dozen or so women who came forward with sordid extramarital tales. His apology was mostly directed to his wife and family-and of course his fans. And all the young kids who looked up to him.
Throughout his long career Woods has been held up as a role model, an inspiration to kids everywhere that, with hard work, you too can earn billions and marry a hot blonde supermodel.
Woods, of course, is far from the first professional athlete to cop to bad behavior. Olympic gold medal winner Michael Phelps, for example, was arrested for DWI, and admitted to drug use. He, too, was publicly admonished for setting a bad example and being a poor role model.
But where did this idea come from, this notion that just because someone is famous he or she is a role model? It's easy to assume that any celebrity is a "role model" and therefore influencing children. There's a pop culture cottage industry in asserting that celebrities are seen as role models-and then pointing out just what horrible role models they are.