Peyton Manning is a true role model

Credit: Mark J. Rebllas, USA TODAY Sports

It seems these days, the only football players in the spotlight are those accused of theft, drunk driving, drug usage or even murder. It seems as if the NFL is full of greedy, selfish players who only care about their next paycheck and signing a contract that has the most money. It seems as if the NFL no longer has appropriate role models for children.

In a league marred by scandal, it appears that most players are those who face controversy or those who greedily chase a contract worth millions upon millions of dollars.

That all goes out the window, however, when looking at Peyton Manning.

With free agency, it is common for players to expect the most money possible and to choose the team that offers them the highest salary. It is common for free agents to chase the paycheck and make money the most important issue when signing for a team.

Not Manning.

Tom Condon, Manning’s agent, recently revealed that Manning was unhappy with the pay the Broncos offered him. No, he didn’t expect more. He expected less.

Condon thought the player could sign a contract for $25 million per year, but Manning had other plans. When he was cut from the Indianapolis Colts and was courted by many other teams, he didn’t expect to earn less than Tom Brady — he requested it.

Manning found out that Brady made $18 million a year and told Condon he didn’t want to make a cent more. He was distressed when the Broncos wanted to pay him $19.4 million per year. He eventually agreed to the $19.4 million but not without contesting it.

Not many people would try to turn down an extra $1.4 million per year because they didn’t feel deserving of it. Most people would happily take that amount and even selfishly ask for more. That alone speaks volumes as to the kind of person Manning is.

Combine his lack of greed with the fact that his charity, the Peyback Foundation, has donated more than $6.5 million to disadvantaged children, and Manning becomes the perfect role model for any child.

Sometimes, the good things a person does is just as important, if not more important, than the bad things he does. When people, especially parents, see a league filled with unethical, greedy players, they won’t be encouraged to allow their son to start playing football.

Bad influences may keep those with extraordinary potential from playing the sport, and the quality of the league might suffer. People must understand that the NFL is full of exemplary role models with just a handful of immoral ones — just like any other company.

There is no need for the integrity of the league to suffer if people comprehend that just because the corrupt, greedy players make the news does not mean the NFL and the majority of its players are corrupt or greedy.

The vast majority of the NFL is full of role models, and for every immoral, greedy player, there is a player who is an outstanding idol. For every crime-committing, money-chasing player, there is a humble, altruistic one. For every Aaron Hernandez, there are multiple Peyton Mannings.

Instead of focusing on the immoral NFL players, why not focus on someone like Manning, a stand-up, ethical man whose integrity should be a role model for everyone? Why not focus on a man who requested a smaller paycheck and a man who gives back so much to the community?

Why focus on a man who will spend years in prison when you can focus on a truly decent and respectable person who just happens to be one of the greatest quarterbacks in history?

Like this? Click here to read why the NFL is evolving into the “No Fun League.”

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