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Would You Stand by Phelps If He Were Your Teammate?

Whether Olympian Michael Phelps smoking pot is surprising to you or not, the issue is getting its fair share of attention as everyone is trying to decide what to make of the situation. Phelps's fellow swimmers have issued their two cents and there's a resounding sense of support from the athletes.

Dara Torres remarked, "This in no way, shape, or form diminishes anything he's done," while relay-teammate Jason Lezak expressed his sentiments saying, "Unlike many fair-weather people, I am sticking by him. If my wife and I can help him in any way, we will. I believe he will grow from this and be better person, role model, and teammate."

Phelps's fellow Olympians seem pretty forgiving, but it seems the police might not be so understanding: a South Carolina sheriff claims he will charge Phelps with a misdemeanor for possession of marijuana if there's proof the crime occurred in his county.


Join The Conversation
girlbot girlbot 8 years
I love that no major news outlet is pointing out that the moral of this story is: you can be a world-champion athlete and still smoke a little pot. Still, if you decide to put yourself in the public eye, you should be more careful about how you conduct yourself. You dug your grave, after all.
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 8 years
I'm blinded by his ugly mug. Did you ask a question?
honeycreepshow honeycreepshow 8 years
i was thinking about this in the car today - people say he's setting a bad example for all the kids who see him as a role model, but how many young children will really hear about this incident? My mother teaches preschool so I am around children a lot. Most average normal children do NOT watch the news, they do NOT listen to the radio. If they ever watch TV it's cartoons. Hell most kids around 10 don't even know what pot is - I know I sure as hell didn't when I was that age. Maybe that's changed because of weed's increased presence in our pop culture. But honestly I think the type of kid who will hold Phelps as a role model won't find out about this until they're older. Also smoking pot is really, really, REALLY not that bad. One of my closest friends is a swimmer, really admires Phelps, and smokes occasionally. He's a fantastic amazing person who does well in school and has plans to go to medical school. Come to think of it, about half of my high school swim team smokes, and they're excellent students and athletes.
Miss-Senorita Miss-Senorita 8 years
I'm with Lovely_1.
fcseamstress fcseamstress 8 years
Yeah, I would stand by him. I am standing by him. He's not taking steroids people. He's not shooting up. He's being a normal 23 year old. Yeah, I'd smack him upside the head and tell him to keep it at home, but I'm standing by him. There are plenty of really successful people who have done way worse drugs, and gotten caught no less, while still being held up as role models. And yes, it should be legalized. All the money we waste policing a drug less dangerous than alcohol that grows naturally in all climates is ridiculous. As for the sheriff, sorry but WTF? How can they prove the pot was even Mike's? What if it was a friend's and they were like, 'Hey, smoke with me man!' Technically Mike wouldn't have bought, sold or possessed it in that case (other than momentarily holding the bong). What will they pin him for? Consumption? And yeah, what about all the 16 year olds who post photos of doing keg stands on MySpace? Are you gonna prosecute them too Mr. Power Trip?
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Truthfully, I would put some distance between us. I don't like to associate with those who put themselves on the wrong side of the law. To me, his behavior speaks to poor judgment. Wasn't he linked to a DUI, too?? This man has some lessons to learn.
jenk264 jenk264 8 years
I personally would like to see someone who stands in front of millions and states that he wants to be a role model to kids, actually hold themselves accountable for their actions and respect their commitment. As adults, if you want to blow this off as no big deal, then that's your business. But what about the millions of kids out there who took Mike for his word when he said he wanted to be a role model? I'm sick of celebrities, which he is, accept their millions in endorsements and then just disrespect what they are suppose to stand for. If the guy wants to smoke weed, show some freaking sense and do it in the privacy of his own home. Not where he can be photographed and exploited. Either he's really stupid or deep down inside he really doesn't care about how he's portrayed to his fans. So he apologized and said it's 'regrettable behavior'. So has this always been regrettable or just regrettable now that it's been published?
imcs imcs 8 years
Now the arrest makes no sense whatsoever. If that was the case, you know how many kids should be getting arrested because of pictures they post on myspace - crazy!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I don't have a problem with pot at all and I think it's ridiculous that it's still illegal, considering that most of the problems with it stem from its illegality rather than the drug itself, so...yeah, I still respect him, I just think he should be more discreet since everyone gets uptight about his every move.
dunnonuttin dunnonuttin 8 years
I live in SC right now and most people here seem to think this sheriff is just looking for his 15 minutes of fame. .... and becoming infamous in the process. And yes I would stand by him if he were my team mate.
gabiushka gabiushka 8 years
I would tell him that he is an adult and human beings, kids, adults, women, seniors, make mistakes and therefore should deal with the consequences.
bleached bleached 8 years
Maybe it's just the Canadian in me speaking but I really don't understand how this is such a big deal. The guy is 23, he took a hit from a bong... It's not like he was caught taking steroids or anything...
Tulipe Tulipe 8 years
People ! Smoking marijuana usually makes you a very uncoordinated and generally slow-motioned person. If he smoked marijuana and STILL managed to snatch those 8 gold medals, then he must be superhuman... (or take other drugs... :-))
kia kia 8 years
I think this holy pedestal we as pop culture put these professional athletes on is laughable. In reality Michael Phelps is a normal human with an extraordinary gift and he is also ADD (or ADHD), and don't a good deal of ADD folks self-medicate themselves with pot and liquor? I am not saying that is the reason he did this, but in the land of probability it can be an added factor, or he was just having fun the way he wanted to have fun.
doogirl doogirl 8 years
I'm totally against drugs, I've never done any, but c'mon, the guy is 23, he's newly famous, and he smoked a little pot. He wasn't shooting up, he wasn't fighting dogs, he wasn't visiting a hooker. Leave the guy alone, he's a human being, not a Superhero!
margokhal margokhal 8 years
If he was consistently doing this stuff, then that would be a case for not standing by him. But it's not like he's addicted or it's affecting his swimming talents or he's harming anybody else by doing it [that we know of], so yeah - whatever. Off-topic, at least one of those gold medals Phelps OWES to Lezak, anyway [a 4-man relay, Lezak was the last swimmer - brought them from behind to 1st place!]...
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
There is a CFL player here in Canada (I can't remember his name for the life of me right now) who was asked to play on one of the American teams but was told he would have to be drug tested for pot. Because of this, he stayed playing in Canada (so he could smoke pot while playing football), and I know he is a VERY good player too. Frick I just can't remember his name!
Marlovestar Marlovestar 8 years
I don't know the whole story but this is my opinion. 1) There are bigger issues in this world and worse drugs, heroin for example. (legalize it already). MA is taking steps to do so. 2) Those who would not support him, I'm curious is it because you frown upon any drug use? (which I completely respect) Or is it because he broke a written law, that is just a formality, meaning that if he was an Olympic gold medalist from Amsterdam then it would be ok? Just curious.
missyd missyd 8 years
to each his own, man! So what? Of course I would stand by him. He still performs his 'job' (athlete) over and above well. What he does in his social time? who am i to judge. He is young and living his life!! I dont see the major deal
Butrfly4404 Butrfly4404 8 years
I have two takes on this. What I said to my husband was, He's an adult. He's "off work" at the moment. What he does is his business. That has no effect on his game. Smoking pot once does not make you "lazy" for life. And honestly, if it were me in that situation, I would have lied. "That isn't me. That wasn't pot" w/e. Not necessarily the most noble thing, but I'm just being honest. So I think it was pretty noble of him to fess up, say it was a mistake and try to move on. He's young, he's got a lot of time left in his life to do a lot of stupid crap. BUT, what I said to my kids: That was a really irresponsible thing for him to do. He's supposed to be a role model and making mistakes like that - publically, no less - was not smart. I hope he can learn from this mistake and work to earn his fans' trust back. It's hard for me to take one stance on it, because I personally see nothing wrong with adults doing whatever the heck they want as long as it doesn't hurt someone else or disrupt other people's lives. But I also don't want my kids to think that bong hits = cool and try to skate through life on that notion. Long winded comment short, yes I would stand by him. Publically, I would say that I hoped he learned from his mistake and privately I'd slap him upside the head for letting someone take a picture like that.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
He's young and newly famous. Of course he's going to go do stupid things. Lovely_1 - my bf and I were talking about that. We were like So maybe he's even FASTER and he has to smoke weed to move at human speeds haha.
unclepooter unclepooter 8 years
To loose respect for someone because of smoking pot is ridiculous. Alcohal at one point was illegall and still is in some counties of the U.S. I bet you "no respect for the smokers" would still drink. People that have an issue with pot just need to get over it. Eventually pot will be legal, its allready on its way. So get over it and Lite-UP.
I am against the legalization of marijuana and I am wholly against it's popularity in our culture as the "ok" drug. HOWEVER, the media is making far too big of a deal about this This in no way diminishes his accomplishments and he's a kid, kids make mistakes.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
ummm ok...let me get this striaght... soooo he gets caught smoking pot right? and he is an 8 time gold medalist right? ummm isn't pot like SUPPOSE to make you more lazy and less ambitious? Like ummmm isn't smoking pot like a HANDICAP that he PUT ON HIMSELF!? Just a question....
VicVicVictooriaa VicVicVictooriaa 8 years
It's not even his season..what does it matter?
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