Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Michael Phelps caught smoking POT - Can a "hero" be imperfect?

Okay, the guy's won 14 Olympic GOLD medals (so far in his career.)

He's an amazing athlete.

But he's not perfect. At 19, he was arrested for driving under the influence (of alcohol) - for which he pleaded guilty.

And this past weekend, a London tabloid ran a picture from Nov 2008 of Michael smoking a bong (a water pipe), which he admitted was a photo of him smoking pot in an apology he released to AP newswire:

I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment. I'm 23 years old and despite the successes I've had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again.

And I think it's fascinating that on his swimroom profile, Michael's favorite quote is:

Actions speak louder than words.

hmmm. I'm curious.

What do you think about this?

Click Here to take the Michael Phelps' POT dilemma - Can he still be a hero? survey


Hayden Thorne said...

We have a tendency to place people we admire on a pedestal. One would think that we'd learn after a long, growing list of fallen idols, but apparently not. And it's frankly unfair to our sainted "heroes," who rise above the ranks through hard work, dedication, and luck, not because of qualities that would make Sir Galahad turn green.

Anonymous said...

I think the Phelps story exemplifies the major problem with hero worship very well: that we expect people who are really really good at a particular thing to somehow be "better" in every other respect as well.

"Better" in quotes because I don't personally feel that smoking pot is a "youthful" or "inappropriate" action. I guess depending on where he was smoking it, it was *illegal* -- which is the only thing I can really see faulting him, as a semi-public figure, for.

I'm grateful that I'm unlikely to ever be a highly public role model such that my every "flaw" or "weakness" or "error" (again, intentional quote marks) becomes a reason for media crucifixion.

fairyhedgehog said...

I think that there's a lot of hysteria about smoking pot. I really can't get worked up about it.

I've not tried it myself - it doesn't appeal - but I'm not fussed if other people like it.

Blog-Nerd said...

I've been wrestling with this issue too but here's where I take issue with this whole thing..let me know what you think? I'd love some feedback on this...



Angie said...

I think that the kid's doing the same stuff most of the other kids his age are doing, but because he's famous and lives with paps constantly pointing cameras at him, he's the one getting crap for it. It's ridiculous; I think it casts our society in a far more negative light than it does Michael Phelps.


Anonymous said...

i am now totally convinced that smoking weed is evil since it limited Phelps to winning only 8 gold medals in a single Olympic appearance

Sarah Laurenson said...

He has proven that he's human. He's a kid for pete's sake and thrust into the spotlight. Did he know he was signing up to be a goody two shoes example when he realized he was good at swimming?

From what I remember, the swimming is what saved him from being a really crappy student. I doubt he thought, "Well, now I have to be perfect in everything I do because I'm going to be a famous athlete."

Shall we talk about all the football stars who have been caught killing people?