When the concept of the 'role model' was first suggested in the 1950's, sociologists divided it into two distinctly different parts.
The 'role model' was someone who had assumed a position or "role" in life (doctor, fireman, professional athlete, astronaut) that you desired to assume yourself.
The 'reference model' was someone whose actions and behavior you chose to emulate.
So, in answer to the oft-asked question, "Are professional athletes role models?" the answer is yes. But, the concept of the role model has been grossly skewed by our generation.
Current Kenton County Jail resident Chris Henry is a role model to anyone who desires or dreams to one day play wide receiver in the NFL.
Henry is nowhere near being a reference model for your children, or anyone else for that matter. His character and conduct is clearly not something to be emulated.
If your son or daughter says Chris Henry is their favorite "player" on the Bengals, that's ok. But, we as adults and/or parents need to make that distinction clear.
If your child says Henry or (insert criminally-inclined Bengals player here) is their favorite "person" on the team, grab the nearest bar of soap.
I think Paul Daugherty's column from Tuesday summed it up best: