Whether or not this is actually Michael Phelps taking a hit from a bong is uncertain. It would, however, appear so since he just came out with a statement apologizing for his inappropriate behavior.
"For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public - it will not happen again."
People need to lighten up (pardon the pun). The fact that Phelps may have smoked marijuana should not, in my opinion, detract from his incredible achievements, the pride that he has brought to the USA for his 14 Gold Medals.
If I'm not mistaken, many of our great leaders have smoked marijuana in the past. The Los Angeles TImes published an editorial in April 2008 stating that Obama, Gore, Bush (the "W" not the dad) and Newt Gingrich all smoked marijuana at some point in their lives. Apparently, in so doing, their future careers were left unaffected. Read the L.A. Times editorial here.
Bottom line: Leave the poor boy alone. He's done nothing that a plethora of other young people haven't done. Putting himself in a position to be publicly chastised for his transgression was foolish. Coming out and apologizing will hopefully diffuse the harsh reaction of people who themselves have more than likely have taken a bong hit or two in their own lives.
I'm not advocating marijuana use. What I am saying, though, is that Michael Phelps has done wonderful things to bolster the morale of our fellow Americans and to elevate us in the esteem of the rest of the world. The transgression of this 23 year old should not detract from his lifetime of hard work and the achievements that came with it.
Read the USA Today Reader Comments which, for the most part, are very supportive of Michael Phelps.
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