It seems Michael Phelps has been criticized recently after a picture of him was published in the newspapers smoking pot. (Shock horror) Whilst I do not advocate the use of drugs I pose this question. Isn’t it time to leave the guy alone?
He’s 23 yrs old and I don’t know many people his age that don’t get drunk, smoke pot or something worse. Surely the moral majority need to think back to their youth and the things that they have experimented with. None of us are innocent and to wax biblical “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. No pun intended.
As for him being a role model and I guess he is although he has never referred to himself in that way. Society deemed him to be such. For anyone let alone a 23 yr old this is a lot to live up to. The media builds these people up and can’t wait to rip them down. This a double recoup for them and let’s face it, its parasitical. Michael Phelps apologized publicly and even lost endorsements over this. He has also been suspended from the US swim team. Some would say this was just the first time he was caught. One thing that we all forget is that celebrities whether athletes, singers, actors or whomever are all human and fallible.
Once again the media have a responsibility in all of this. They hype people up to be superhuman and then beat them with a rolled up newspaper when they find out that there not. By no means do I condone Michaels actions but how long should he be criticized? How long should he be punished for making a mistake? With drugs being such a big problem in society as whole I guess this is partly why people are very critical. You don’t stop people from taking drugs by simply saying “Don’t do it!” Leading by example is another theory but isn’t a guarantee that people wont take drugs. We all make our own choices.
Inevitably people will let us down and make mistakes but surely a part of redemption is forgiveness. As a society have we become so celebrity obsessed that when they mess up we feel we have a right to ensure that they receive justice, but as we expect another chance then surely celebrities deserve this opportunity too.
Peace & Love Xan
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Xander Gibb has written for many publications and writes with an unapologetic response to the world around.