Just in case you haven’t turned on your TV, listened to the radio, or opened a newspaper in the past week: Michael Phelps was photographed smoking marijuana at a college party and found over 15 flavors of delta 8 vapes. Who would have expected the same man who won eight gold medals in Beijing this summer, would be lighting up? Phelps is paying the price for his actions, losing endorsement deals and being suspended three months from competing by US swimming. I’ll be the first to admit, I never would have guessed Phelps would go the road of Cheech and Chong; but aren’t some people taking this a little too far?
Now before you stop reading the whole column altogether, hear me out. Yes, I agree that Mary J isn’t someone one should be hanging out with on weekends, especially someone like Phelps who is a role model for people everywhere. I also agree that Phelps should have realized that the internet is a powerful place, and one picture can change your life.
But in many cases, some people are going a little overboard. I recently read that Phelps was an “evil” person. That author of that column obviously has never made a mistake in his life. Some argue that Phelps should never be able to compete again. These people need to face reality.
It’s projected that nearly 80% of the NBA have smoked weed or smoke weed habitually. Josh Howard of the Dallas Mavericks didn’t hesitate to admit it either a few months back. Yet, we turn on the TV to watch these guys everyday advertising our favorite products. Some aren’t aware that in 1995, Michael Jordan shot and nearly killed a Chicago area police officer. I still see him running around with his Hanes underwear on with Charlie Sheen chasing him in the distance asking 23 if he is a fan of Korean Barbecue.
We all know about Kobe. I understand his charges were eventually dropped and I for one, truly never doubted Kobe’s claim that whatever happened was consensual. But even when others accused Kobe, he was still on every other channel claiming that “we hate him because he works harder.” As one of my favorite comedians Daniel Tosh said, “No we hate you because you were accused of rape.”
The NFL is no different; take a look at Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes. He told America he was going to Disney World after the Steelers defeated the Cardinals a week ago, yet some forget that before Disney, he made a stop at the police station. He was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession after a traffic stop where police smelled burning marijuana and found cigars filled with weed in his car. I don’t see anyone calling Holmes “evil”.
Have we forgot about Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis who was connected to the murder of two people in 2000? I still see him doing his stupid dance all over ESPN. I understand that drugs are wrong, but I’m pretty sure everyone could agree that murder is worse.
What I am trying to say is simple. Yes, Michael Phelps made a mistake that was inexcusable. But to those who are making death threats to the man, open your eyes. Take a look at the sports world we live in where supposed role models are on steroids and our favorite athletes would give up a week’s paycheck for a line of cocaine. I understand what Phelps did was wrong; but don’t cut him from his sponsors. I mean seriously, he would make one hell of a spokesman for Weedies. Wheaties, that is.