in a 1993 Nike commercial, basketball player Charles Barkley infamously said: "I'm not a role model. Just because I dunk a basketball doesn't mean I should raise your kids.”
Compare that to today when Nike had football player Colin Kaepernick in one of their ads whom the media has dubbed a-that's right!-role model for today's youngsters.
And some years ago Nike had golf player Tiger Woods in their ads who was propped up as a-you guessed it!-role model, though THAT didn't work out so good. (Google it if you don't know what I'm referring to.)
And it's, of course, not just sports stars who are regarded as "role models" but celebrities in general. And there are, of course, celebrities who proudly accept being so-called role models for the young folk.
For instance, singer/actress Miley Cyrus who once called herself a "role model" for her younger fans and then does a music video wherein she straddles a huge ball while NAKED. (Not that I'm really complaining about her doing this, of course!)
I myself didn't really have any famous "role models" growing unless you count James Bond, Darth Vader. Oscar the Grouch and Sgt. Rock.
As for whether or not I feel kids today still need so-called role models, I think George Carlin said it best in his book Brain Droppings when he said the following about this very topic:
"If your kid needs a role model and you ain't it, then you're BOTH screwed!" Well, technically, George DIDN'T say the word screwed here, but you get the picture!