Media outlets across the country are debating around the argument on what to make out of Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps and the recent turmoil he is facing. A photograph was published in a British tabloid this past week of Phelps smoking marijuana at a house party near the University of South Carolina last November. There are several ripples we are now seeing out of this incident. Phelps issued an apology statement, but it may be too lake as the local law enforcement agency may be looking at criminal charges on Phelps.
Also, we’ve seen this go through the headlines with the swimmer receiving heavy criticism and some others in the media asking is he getting a pass. Well, after his recent apology, the Olympic Committee has seemingly accepted his apology, and his endorsements appear to be safe at this time, but does that make it okay? You’ve heard people say that it’s just pot, what’s the big deal?
Well you have to take into account the image this represents. Michael Phelps is currently probably the most recognized sports figure in the world. He’s making millions of dollars in endorsements because of the image of an Olympic champion he’s representing. Yes he’s a young man, but was this worth the potential sacrifice? He was engaged in an illegal act. Drug use isn’t made illegal for no reason.
Not for nothin’, but the character of a person may have to come into question once you look at the history of previous incidents of questionable behavior. A few years ago when Phelps was 19 he was arrested for driving under the influence and he issued a similar apology, followed by a “I’ll never do it again.” Well I’ll never do it again doesn’t just apply to DUI, it applies to any behavior that isn’t complimentary to the person you are, to the person you aspire to be, and to the person and people you represent as a U.S. Olympic gold medalist.