Pubdate: Mon, 16 Feb 2009
Source: Star-News (NC)
Copyright: 2009 Wilmington Morning Star
Author: Ben Bagby



So Michael Phelps got caught smoking pot. Oh, big deal! The media is
pretending to take this seriously with headlines such as: "Phelps reputation
takes a hit."

Yeah, I get it. Now the Olympic champion has to apologize to the world
for what is arguably a fairly common activity for someone his age. One
of his sponsors decided to take the "high" ground and is now a former
sponsor. Sure, it's illegal. But our society has long come to grips
with the reality of the illegality of smoking pot: Don't be stupid and
do it in a public area and you'll probably be OK.

Indeed, research has produced statistics that show that about 40
percent of Americans have risked their lives by dabbling in the killer
weed. ... Meanwhile, we have athletes who have sired numerous children
with numerous women ... That's not enough to get someone kicked off
any professional (or amateur) team but that's only true because he
probably wasn't stoned at the time. So Phelps is doing the right thing
by apologizing profusely for something that is truly no big deal.

I'm sure nobody will finance a poll of this sort but I'd love to see
if his "approval rating" has also taken a hit from this horrible
scandal. My hunch is that it hasn't.

Ben Bagby
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