From sports apparel company Speedo to luxury Swiss watchmaker Omega, corporate sponsors who have signed up swimming phenomenon Michael Phelps to tout their products don’t seem much concerned about the Olympian’s current dope scandal.
The British tabloid News of the World Sunday published a color photo of the 23-year-old — who won a record eight gold medals at last year’s Beijing Olympics — sucking on a marijuana pipe during a November visit to a house party at the University of South Carolina.
Mr. Phelps promptly acknowledged “regrettable” behavior and “bad judgment.”
The Swiss watchmaker said Mr. Phelps’ actions were a private matter and a “nonissue.” Speedo’s vote of confidence confirmed the swimmer remains a “valued member of the Speedo team.”
Other corporations who have assigned Mr. Phelps endorsement deals — from Visa to Subway to Kellogg’s — aren’t talking yet.
Meantime, there are indications the local sheriff is feeling political pressure to prosecute Mr. Phelps, based on this “photo evidence.”
Oh, please. Who shall we go after next? Bill Clinton, who “didn’t inhale”? Barack Obama, who was known to his Hawaiian high school classmates as “Barry the Stoner” and who has admitted using somewhat stronger stuff?
There’s plenty of evidence against that Paul McCartney guy. And they might as well just back the paddy wagon right up to the red carpet at this year’s Academy Awards ceremonies, given the histories of some of the characters who are expected to put in a showing there.
Young people should be warned against using any drugs. But jailing otherwise productive and law-abiding citizens for this “crime” makes about as much sense today as attempting to bust consenting adults for moving in together without benefit of marriage.
Lament it, condemn it from the pulpits, if you wish. But surely our over-budget prisons are full enough.
The “War on Drugs” grows increasingly ridiculous.