When asked to list an example of the epitome of an athlete one needs to ponder no further than the figure skaters who take to the ice at the Winter Olympics. Since last Thursday night, when the competition started, I have again been mesmerized by the skills, artistry, and composure of the men and women from around the world.
Last night while watching Nathan Chen who was truly masterful in the men’s short program I thought how different the skaters are from Aaron Rodgers. While many people who follow football think Rodgers will soon be labeled as the former Green Bay Packers quarterback, I wish to offer him some advice as he packs his bags for the exit door.
I use the figure skaters as my guideposts and examples.
First, demonstrate that you care enough for the fans to look respectful when engaging in the sport. Rodgers has looked too often, as of late, as if the detox center did not have running hot water or soap. Show up for the job with some self-respect.
I understand the world is not watching when Rodgers takes to the field, as compared to the Olympic skaters, but he should at least get a haircut and shave for the local fans.
An example of how to be aware that personal grooming matters is Jason Brown who performed Monday night in the short skate portion of the games.
Second, the way athletes react when the game or event does not go the way they wish speaks volumes about their character. This past season football viewers saw Rodgers slam down and break a $500 tablet when a play was not called as he wanted.
This week we saw a different way to handle stress from an athlete.
Figure skater and medal contender Vincent Zhou tested positive for Covid-19, and made a mature social media statement that was pure class about now not being able to compete in the men’s individual competition in Beijing. Note to Rodgers that no damage to inanimate objects resulted.
After the latest loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Rodgers took to social media to lambast the voices across the nation who roasted him for months about his lack of regard for COVID vaccines and mask-wearing. But male athletes do wear masks, as South Korean figure skater Cha Jun-hwan (below) did continuously during recent training sessions.
Third, stepping up and doing what is in the best interest of the larger community is surely a lesson that Rodgers should learn before entering his next locker room for a different team.
Fourth, when problems develop a strong athlete takes the higher road. Zhu Yi did that very thing this past week after falling two times in her skating performance. Though in tears she proved her inner resolve and character with a heart-shaped design made with her fingers.
Fifth, being rude to those who pay for a ticket is just low-brow. Rodgers was taken to task for his “I own you” comment this past season after a game. Meanwhile, last night after his time on the ice Jason Brown blew a kiss to the audience in Bejing—though the numbers in the seats were very small due to the pandemic. But it was still the classy and proper thing to do.
Brown being thankful for the chance to perform and be in the limelight is something that Rogers has squandered and completely taken for granted during his time in Green Bay.
Perhaps as Aaron Rodgers watches yet another Super Bowl away from the end zone he can think about the lessons to be learned from the artistic, musically inclined, truly athletic, and character-rich figure skaters at the Winter Olympics.
And so it goes.