By Jackee Arce @knackeredwriter on April 6, 2014
Although many athletes are admired on the field -- or on the court -- not all of them can be admired as individuals. Some fans do not care as long as they bring positive results on the field, but if you have kids looking up to them you hope they're as good people as they are players. Here are 15 athletes who are role models on and off the field.
Roger Federer is one of the greatest tennis players of all time; his commitment and passion for his sport are very obvious on the court. The other admirable trait Federer possess is his ability to stay humble even though he has reason not to be.
Eli Manning is a powerful player on the field, and many kids look up to him. Luckily, he uses this fame for good and raises money for children's clinics in hospitals. The fact that he gives back to the community is invigorating.
Mia Hamm is a former professional soccer player who was a top athlete in her time. After retiring she was one of the few female stars to stay relevant, and she used this to start The Mia Hamm Foundation in honor of her brother who passed away from bone marrow disease. Many girls and boys have a lot to admire in Hamm.
Eli is not the only admirable Manning brother; Payton is another strong player on the field, who spends his time off the field making a difference. Like his brother he also looks to help children -- he starting the Peyback Foundation to help disadvantaged children. Kids need to look up to players like Manning who continue working hard after the game ends.
Abby Wambach is a professional soccer player who continues to work hard on the field. She recently broke Mia Hamm's all-time scoring record. She is a prime example of what is means to work hard and accomplish your goals.
Serena Williams may be known for being a twin tennis player, but she really excels on the court. She's a former no. 1 and not to mention a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She gives kids a reason to play hard and is part of a charity that gives back. Kids should look up to well-rounded individuals like her.
Armando Galarraga is a professional baseball pitcher who is currently a free agent. Galarraga made headlines when an umpire's bad call ruined his perfect game; he barely batted an eye. He is a model of true sportsmanship most player don't have the ability to show on the field.
Steve Nash is now an amazing basketball player, but it wasn't always so. Nash never gave up on his dreams and continues to be humble even after making it big. To top it off, he started his own charity to aid children. He is the kind of guy you want your child to grow up to be.
Robbie Rogers is a professional soccer play who has played with the US National Team. He made headlines last year when he became the first active "out" gay player, and that is admirable. He is not only a role model for LGBT youth, but to all children. He is a prime example of bravery and what it means to just be yourself.
Tim Tebow may receive some criticism for some of his beliefs, but he is truly a good guy. He worked hard to get where he is and excels on the field. On top of that he used his fame to start his own foundation that helps builds hospitals in the Philippines.
David Beckham is one of the greatest former soccer players in the world, yet he manages to stay quite humble. I don't think I know a soccer player who was more passionate and played harder than Beckham who often played while ill. He has also always been very giving to children and supports charities that do the same.
Jonathan Quick is only 28 years old, and he is already breaking records. He plays hard being a top goalie for the Kings and US Olympic team. He is a great example of what it means to give something your all. He is also involved with the L.A. Kings Foundation, and I hope many children strive to be like him.
Derrick Coleman is a fullback for the Seattle Seahawks. Before the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, Coleman starred in a commercial for Duracell shedding light on the fact that he was deaf. His disability did not stop him from achieving his dreams even if he had to try a little harder. He is a true role model.
Michael Oher is now more popularly known for the movie Blind Side. His story was one that needed to be heard. He is a player who beat the odds, and I think an excellent role model for children. There is so much to admire in him; he is a great player who had to work a little harder than some others to get where he is.
Cristiano Ronaldo is arguably the best soccer players in the world; he is incredible on and off the field. He is often in the news, but not for brushes with the law like some other soccer stars, but for helping out his young fans. He is humble when he has all the reason in the world not to be. If children idolize Ronaldo and work as hard as he does, and give back as much as he does, then they're going to go far.
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