A lot of talk still regarding Michael Phelps getting caught hitting the bong. I’ve heard arguments from all sides, but my opinion throughout remains the same: it’s ok to be mad at Phelps. But not for what you think.
The reason people should be upset with Phelps is over his stupidity and lack of judgement in smoking in plain view of several partygoers with camera phones. (And I swear you can almost hear Cypress Hill’s Hit from the Bong playing.) You may hate the actual act of smoking pot, but that doesn’t give you the right to judge him as a good or bad person, role model/not a role model. If it’s me, and I had to explain it to my kids, I would hit one major point: people are always watching–in other words, your private world doesn’t exist. You have total transparency to your audiences. Always a good lesson to heed, from the high school basketball star to the Fortune 500 CEO.
And while I’m talking about Phelps, what is with the moral police lately? Not sure if you heard the news about Chris Brown being pulled from playlists at some radio stations, including Cleveland’s KISS FM, but if you haven’t, you need to sit up and take note of this blatant censorship that’s going on. Maybe I’m in the minority, but celebrity bad behavior doesn’t surprise me. Granted, Brown’s case was different because violence against women is inexcusable. But that should’t impact a radio station’s decision on what music to play/not to play. If you started using moral character as a gauge for who you play and don’t play, you will be running the risk of dropping a lot of artists. (I don’t know about you, but I need my R-Kelly fix.)
And I guess that’s my point. Where do we draw the line regarding what we expect/should expect from celebrities? We’ve been debating role model/not a role model since the days of Barkley and his Nike commercial.
I think in today’s day and age, with so many channels/tools to obtain photos of celebrities doing anything at any time, we can’t expect the image we have of them to match what they really are – human.