I do not think that athletes should be considered "heros' yes they have talent. But getting (over)paid millions of dollars to chase a ball around doesn't make someone special in my book.
I am tutoring my 14 yr old newphew. He had to write a report on a hero and asked me what athlete he should pick. I asked him why he wanted an athlete and he said "I don't know... thats who everyone says heros are" my heart broke a little bit. We did a lot of research and made some decisions and he wrote his paper about a local man who volunteers at the churchs and helps out elderly people in town. I was so proud. He was the only kid in his class who didn't write his paper on an athlete, and the only one who got a 100%.