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Stephanie Pedersen: We need different role models

Cam Newton, Ronda Rousey and Beyonce.

Stop me when I throw out a name that hasn't been in the news lately because they're "supposed to be role models" and somehow they've disappointed the masses.

I've read the following statements this week:

Cam Newton was a disappointment because he was a sore loser.

Ronda Rousey was invincible until she wasn't, and now she's weak because she thought her life was over after losing.

Beyonce should stay in her place as an entertainer and quit the political messages she's sending.

Have you ever been so angry from a loss you despised shaking the other teams' hands but you did it anyway?

Have you been on a winning streak in sports or just in life, in general, and suffered a devastating loss that makes you question everything?

And do you have a political opinion?

I'm betting everyone that reads this answers "yes" to one of these questions.

The problem with all of these stories and comments about these celebrities is that they aren't role models, or at least they shouldn't be.

Newton is a quarterback in the NFL.

Since when have pro football players been the type of men you want your sons to emulate off the field?

Rousey beats the crap out of other women, and Beyonce shakes her body until something, anything should fall off.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of all three of these people.

Newton is one of the greatest athletes I've ever witnessed. Rousey is changing the way we view women and their capabilities. Beyonce is one of the best entertainers of our era.

That doesn't make them role models.

Sure, most of them give back to charities, and Newton named his son Chosen.

And, from all accounts, they all seem like good people.

But I wish we'd focus more on the real community heroes.

I met one the other day at the coffee shop. We bonded over the fact that we weren't fans of the "drama kids" taking over our local cafe.

Still recovering from Ranger School, he ordered three plates of food. His wife is in the military, too, but she's still overseas.

As we chatted about my newfound knowledge of Ranger School, a "drama kid" interrupted our conversation.

"Excuse me, sir, I just wanted to thank you for your service," the teenager said.

The soldier shook his hand and thanked him for his kind words.

"You probably hear that a lot, right?" I asked.

"Sometimes," he said.

Probably less than Newton, Rousey and Beyonce, I bet.

And that's a shame.

Stephanie Pedersen, senior editor, spedersen@ledger-enquirer.com.

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