I have to preface this by saying that, although Serena's actions at the US Open were dreadfully unsportsmanlike, the racist comments and general dumb-assery I've read on teh intrawebz following that outburst were -- hello?--a million times worse.
But wow, role models: my kids sure can't pick 'em. My tennis-loving daughter adores Serena Williams. She relishes the fact that the younger sister is just a bit more athletic than older sis Venus and is also into fashion and being fancy. She plays with a Williams sisters racquet and reads every newspaper article about her she can find. We watched much of the US Open together, and every day she would ask, "Is Serena still in?" So I was relieved that she lay asleep in her bed when Serena went nuts on that line judge. My daughter read the entire article the next day, and, well, we had a teachable moment and all, but I could tell that she was a crestfallen about her hero. (She still admires Serena, for the record.)
And this was my older daughter's hero from the 2008 Olympics:
Bong boy himself. That was a fun conversation. More teachable moments than I care for, frankly.
Now, I know neither infraction is THAT big of a deal. Athletes lose their temper (football, anyone?), young people screw up. People make mistakes. Everyone's lives will go on, and I don't think my little darlings will be too terribly scarred.
Oh well. At least they don't idolize Kanye.