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February 06, 2009

Comments

Peggy Lazenby-Retired Teacher

Michael Phelps has to be disciplined like everyone else who uses drugs because we need to send the right message to everyone about using drugs. However, I don't think we should be looking down on him more than the Daryl Strawberrys of major league sports who never did learn their lessons! Let he who has done no wrong cast the first stone. We should not judge others lest we be judged by God ourselves. It is sufficient enough for him to be disciplined by the authorities and the Olympic Committee. We do not need to "rub it in" or to make him feel bad about himself. Let's not forget how proud we all are of his swimming feats and his record-breaking number of Olympic Medals. We never have the right to bruise a person's ego.

Dr Tom Ferraro

Lea Tyrell was kind enough to have me on her Long Island Talks panel last nite and I was struck by how sympathic the listeners were to Phelp's plight. The fact of the matter is that Phelps has trained very hard (maybe too hard) for very many years and the stress has probably caught up to him. Thus he, like many athletes, turns to the solace and comfort of ellicit drugs... And despite what so many callers said, Pot can be very damaging, causing Amotivational Syndrome which slows performance. And if that not enough please note that this little glitch will cost he and his agent perhaps upwards of $50 million in future endorsements from Visa and Kellog. All in all very very sad sad story. Dr Tom Ferraro: Sport Psychology

John

I don't really have an opinion on the pot smoking, itself. I don't use the stuff, myself, nor do I drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, or even drink a heck of a lot of coffee. And it's because I just never felt any interest, rather than because I'm terrified of the consequences or think it's inherently wrong.

That said, I think Kellogg acted correctly, but everybody else screwed up beyond belief.

Kellogg gets the thumbs up, because they made a decision within their power and responsibility. I'm sure his contract contains something like a morality clause and, like him or not, Phelps is a face of Kellogg while under contract.

The Olympic Committee is clearly a bunch of self-serving morons. They're cutting him for an offense that has nothing to do with their rules. The punishment is ineffectual. So, they're basically taking a stand on a non-issue to look like they care.

Phelps himself is worse, though, and not because he smoked pot or drank when underage. His offense, to me, is in doing something he knew was against the law, then crying about it once he got caught.

If he thinks it's OK, he should just say so. If he doesn't, then he shouldn't have done it in the first place. What he did makes him the loser from an After School Special, who caves to peer pressure. How embarrassing!

But most of all, I'll repeat that the biggest shame of it all is that we live in a world where the only role models available to children are athletes and other rich people. We've got mostly absentee overworked parents, fellow kids that are all but glued to the television and phone, and seemingly corruption at every level. If that wasn't the case throughout the system, this wouldn't be at all an interesting story.

critter9

Jackie: "Now it's Phelpsy's turn to earn back
USA swimming's trust - and the trust and
respect of those kids who look up to him."

Hello, Jackie.

Reliable sources inform me that years ago, many of your relatives, as well as the friends and relatives of your current colleagues and associates, violated federal law by consuming record amounts of alcohol at a time when alcohol possession and consumption was illegal.

A direct result of your relatives intentionally violating federal law, the law was changed and today you, as well as your friends and colleagues can consume and possess as much alcohol as you care to.

What is your opinion of your relatives who ignored federal law so they could get high?

Cheryl

Franky of Freeport:

The argument that Phelps is held to higher standards than, say, Janis Joplin, simply because sponsors have paid him megabucks does not hold water either. Sponsors throw cash at people like Phelps because we're dumb enough to lust after and buy the products our 'sports heroes' endorse.

That joke is on you.

Kelloggs? Wheaties? Breakfast of champions? Rubbish. Drinking the Gatorade doesn't make you like Mike. Squeezing into the same swimsuit as Phelps won't get you Olympic gold. But do glance in the mirror. Who looks the fool now?

Remember, when game-time is up, everyone — including those who have just competed for our viewing pleasure or national pride — should be allowed to go home and get on with their lives. It's for police and courts to judge them if they commit crimes, just like the rest of us.

We should not expect sports-people to live anything but human lives, with the errors that humans make, outside of the arena.

Just because their sporting feats are sometimes superhuman doesn't mean they are, too.

Franky, Freeport

So I guess Cheryl's nutritionist would rather give a KID a BONG HIT then a BOWL of CEREAL?!??!?!?!? Wow!!! I don't even think I need to comment on that one anymore.. KOOKOO KOOKOO... I guess its ok to occasionally drive drunk or high too.. no biggie.. PLEASE, get real people...

Franky, Freeport

Phelps is young, he can rebound from this. If he tackles it head on, admits his errors in judgment, doesn't do it again…. Then uses it to speak out against drug use to kids, he maybe can turn this whole thing into a positive event by showing how he has learned from his past mistakes.
And as far as people thinking he's not a role model because he is just a swimmer, that’s just plain DUMB! Hmmmm? What do you think his millions of dollars in endorsements were for?!?! I think the execs at these multi-million dollar companies know Phelps is a role model.. Kellogg’s knew it and pulled his deal because of his now tarnished persona… Millions of kids and probably just about every aspiring Athlete and current Professional Athlete looks up to Michael Phelps. The guy has won more consecutive GOLD MEDALS the any other human being in the history of sports!!! That is quite the accomplishment. Every Athlete dreams of dominating their sport as he did.. And swimming, I got news for you buddy, it ain't easy.. It's not ping-pong or curling.. Put any Professional Athlete.. your favorite, at the top of their game, in the pool with Phelps, and watch them sink.. It is probably one of the most intense, strenuous sports out there.. I agree its not like people are rushing home to watch competitive swimming on TV.. But, as far as the Olympics are concerned and what he has accomplished; nothing can compare.. Athletes around the world would say the same…Let's hope he wakes up and realizes that too..

Cheryl

Unfortunately Jackie, you've again missed the point on 2 counts.

If the USOC thought it was a big deal they would have suspended Phelps for a year or more. Suspending him for 3 months is akin Major League Baseball suspending someone for November, January, and February and saying "look, we're being tough on them!".
There are few, if any competitve swimming events before or after the Olympics. None, I'm sure that Michael Phelps was planning on attending.

Secondly, about Kelloggs:

I guess it's ok for Kelloggs to promote and advertise their addictive sugary crap to little kids, but an adult taking a bong hit is a sin. Kelloggs cereal and related products (Pop Tarts, etc..)do more harm to kids than an occasional bong hit.

Don't believe me? Ask a nutritionist.


anthony lowell

Jackie, are you serious?

Children are NOT looking up to swimmers as role models, no matter who they are or what they've accomplished.

They latest teen pop star? Sure

An NBA All-Star? Of course

An Oympic swimmer? not a chance

Phelps was an accomplished individual who earned more golds in one Olympics than most countries. Clearly, smoking pot has not hindered him. In fact, there's also the distinct possibility he beat everyone while high.

The only bad thing:

He has to be the least cool pot smoker since John Denver.

He's definitely not the reason kids will or won't be buying Kellogg's corn flakes.

SUSAN L.RUDNICK

JACKIE; IT TOOK ALOT OF GUTS TO STAND UP FOR WHAT IS MORALLY RIGHT IN REGARD TO ATHLETES BEING ROLE MODELS FOR OUR YOUTH!HAVING RAISED FOUR CHILDREN HERE ON LONG ISLAND IT WASNT ALWAYS EASY TO KEEP THE BAD INFLUENCES AT BAY ! HOWEVER; IT IS ALL OF OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO RAISE HEALTHY CHILDREN THAT ARE FREE OF ILLEGAL DRUGS AND ALCOHOL !TEACHERS,NEIGHBORS,COACHES,SCOUT LEADERS ,PARENTS AND FAMILY MEMBERS ALL PLAY A MAJOR ROLE IN RAISING OUR CHILDREN INTO RESPONSIBLE ADULTS.BRAVO TO YOU FOR SAYING IT LIKE IT IS! MR.PHELPS SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT TWICE BEFOR AGAIN DISPLAYING HIMSELF AS HE DID ! LETS HOPE HE CAN FINALLY LEARN FROM THIS AND BECOME A MORE RESPONSIBLE ROLE MODEL IN THE FUTURE.S.L.R.

Bob

Jackie, I agree with you. All coaches, teachers and parents (especially the parents) should talk to the kids about drinking and doing drugs and what can happen.

Thats two. Three strikes and he's out. Out of what? Chances perhaps? Sorry Phelps, but you're in the limelight. You better rethink your lifestyle and what you do affects others.

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