Dating back over 100 years to the days of Jack Dempsey and Ty Cobb, sports stars have always been big celebrities. However, much has changed in the world since then. The advent of TV and the Internet have made professional athletes every bit as famous as movie stars and musicians. Every major city now has at least one 24-hour sports talk station, creating a forum for fans to immediately voice their displeasure if a player has a bad game. The fact is that pro athletes are under more scrutiny now than they ever have been before.
Under the microscope
As is the case with other people in the public eye, the more successful you are at what you do, the more attention you will get from fans and the media. Therefore, if you are the fourth outfielder or a middle relief pitcher for a baseball team, you do not have to worry about TMZ following you and reporting on your every move. The same goes for pro soccer players who are defenders. The fans and media tend to focus their attention on the players who score the goals. So in that sense, it is possible for a pro athlete to have a private life. However, this is not the case if you are an elite level player.