Michael Phelps is a well known Olympic award winner. He was well known for his swimming ability, and how amazing he competes. He mesmerized his fellow swimmers with his athletic ability in the water, as well as how calm he appeared. He was a hero to many young boys because of his age and how quickly he excelled. Many kids look up to him, and he is a well-loved role model.
Not long after he received a DWI, he apologized to the public, and had to pay a $250.00 fine, as well as was put on probation. During that time he redeemed himself in the eyes of many people by going to schools and talking to kids about the stupidity of drinking. He stepped back into his shoes of being a great role model again. He worked closely with MADD, "Mothers Against Drunk Driving". This was a great choice for his career. He was able to take a bad thing and make it better. Not many people are giving so many opportunities.
The world was shocked when a picture of what appeared to be Michael Phelps blowing into a water bong surfaced. Nobody was really sure it was him, and thought maybe it was someone that just looked like him. Other people thought it was a setup. This young athlete who had already been through so much, was now being framed. Once again the media focused on Michael Phelps for an answer. Michael, without any thought of the affects that his career would feel, admitted the photo was real. He openly admitted it was him.
So once again, Michael Phelps has gone from hero to zero, quickly. Is this an excusable situation? Is this something we should all ignore, and blow off that he's just twenty-three and having fun? Should we all turn the other cheek, and just let him live his life? The way the media has taken over and shown everyone what he has done, can we really ignore it?
Is it possible to teach our kids that smoking pot, partying, underage drinking, partying, etc is wrong when the guy who's supposedly so awesome is doing all of that, and we are just ignoring it? Is that possible? The kids turn the T.V. on and see all the hype and the pictures of him smoking out of a bong. So don't smoke cigarettes, but you can smoke pot? It's illegal! How is it ok that our kids role model is doing illegal activities? How can we sit back and allow this to be shoved under the carpet.
Michael Phelps was penalized and is not allowed to compete for 3 months. He's been banned from professional swimming. He also lost one of his big sponsors. Kellogs made a corporate decision to no longer sponsor Michael Phelps due to his illegal activities. Is this enough? He ruined his image. Sure he's an amazing swimmer, and he's won the most awards in the shortest amount of time, but he also caused his own hit, by taking that "hit" at the party.
The party may be over for Michael Phelps. Kellogs is the first sponsor to end the sponsorship, but are they the last? At this point, Tony the tiger is a better role model for kids than Michael. Or maybe America is a lot more accepting. Remember the "I didn't inhale" comment from former President Clinton, to the openly admitting President Barack Obama that inhalled a lot? Should we turn our backs? Or openly accept it as being ok? It's a personal decision, and continues to be up for debate. What side do you fall on?