Sunday, February 1, 2009

Michael Phelps and My Alma Mater

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 2/01/2009 No comments

British tabloid The News of the World posted a photo yesterday that allegedly shows 14-time Olympic Gold medal winning swimmer Michael Phelps smoking marijuana from a bong. The photo is reported to have been taken in November at a party at the University of South Carolina. And let me tell you how proud I am.

First off, I'm proud because USC is my alma mater (Go Cocks!). Phelps: We were glad to host you, buddy. Come back anytime.

Secondly, and most importantly (and seriously), I'm proud of how Phelps has responded to the embarrassing situation. Here's the statement he released today: "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."

I applaud Phelps for taking responsibility for his actions. The typical superstar athlete would have come out vehemently denying the accusation and claiming that the photo had been doctored, knowing that they were lying. And they probably would have gotten high-priced lawyers involved, all to distract from the truth. But because Phelps has done the right thing by admitting his wrongdoing, this news story will have a much shorter shelf life and he might not lose any of his sponsorships and endorsements. If anything, this can be used as a way to reach kids as to why they should stay away from drugs.


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