Saturday, February 07, 2009

With Celebrity Comes Responsibility

Last November Olympic-record busting gold medalist Michael Phelps attended a house party at the University of South Carolina and smoked pot. You know that of course because the photo of him inhaling from a bong has made it all over the world. I live less than two miles from the USC campus, and much has been made of Phelps’ escapade around these parts. He may even get brought up on charges by law enforcement.

I have three words for Michael Phelps: What an idiot.

He may be your hero, and if he is, I’m sorry, but he’s still an idiot.

Is it so bad that he smoked pot? Maybe not. I’ll guarantee he wasn’t the only one in the room doing it. But not everyone else in the room is a history making champion. Not everyone else in the room has people, young and old, looking up to him as an example.

Before this picture surfaced, if you’d asked people what came to mind when you mentioned Michael Phelps, they probably would have used words like Olympic hero, dedicated, passionate, competitor, fighter, champion.

They probably would not have used the term pot head. But because of that one picture, it's obvious that's what he is.


Mary Cunningham said...

Opportunity lost! If you're in the public eye and looked up to, especially by young people, you have a responsibility.

Hope Phelps digs himself out of this hole, but it's going to take work on his part.

Great post!

Regan Black said...

Why does USC get all the weird connections like this?
Anyway. Yeah, I'm disappointed in him too. I can understand needing to relax the training schedule, but that's taking it a little low.

I'm with Mary. The proof of his character will come through if he can regain the trust of those who looked up to him.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I believe the line from Spiderman works well here - "With great power comes great responsibility."

He really blew it.

L. Diane Wolfe

Mary Cunningham said...

Exactly, Diane and Regan. He'll need to prove that he's responsible enough to handle his position.

I'm deeply disappointed in him and can't imagine that his very supportive mom is too happy with him at the moment.

Norm Cowie said...

I think he's got to be pretty happy that A-Rod's taken over top spot on the infamy list.

Norm Cowie said...

Snap, I used an unnecessary 'that'.

Iris said...

Yeah, this is pretty upsetting. One of my friends is top-dog on my school's Boy's Swim Team. Phelps was his one of his biggest heroes.

Sadly, because of this, my friend has denounced Phelps until he, and I quote, "makes a big enough splash, or breaks a big enough record, that I [meaning my friend] can go back to thinking of him as the same guy who swam at the Beijing Olympics."

Anyways, an update on the scandal... Phelps has been suspended for 3 months, Kellogs dropped its deal, but oddly Subway is "sticking by Phelps".