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USMSarah
November 10th, 2004, 08:34 PM
Due to the lengthy discussions about the Phelps situation, let's make this one short and sweet!

What's your opinion?

1. Don't give a ****.
2. Phelps is just another kid... kids do stupid things.
3. Phelps should learn from this and speak to kids about drunk driving.
4. Phelps should be prosected to the fullest extent and lose sponsorships.
5. Undecided.

emmett
November 10th, 2004, 08:42 PM
He should be prosecuted like anybody else (ie no preferential treatment, nor extra severity, just because he's a celebrity).

As a completely separate issue: He should lose his sponsorships IF THAT'S WHAT HIS SPONSORS DECIDE IS IN THEIR BEST INTEREST - its a business decision - and, consequently, none of our business.

scyfreestyler
November 10th, 2004, 09:44 PM
I thought some of you might be interested in this article. It seems that Phelps picked up that new Land Rover he was hinting about.

http://www.swiminfo.com/lane9/news/8405.asp

geochuck
November 11th, 2004, 12:10 AM
I think I am going to decide later. He still may not be guilty.

George

hooked-on-swimming
November 11th, 2004, 01:28 AM
Originally posted by emmett
He should be prosecuted like anybody else (ie no preferential treatment, nor extra severity, just because he's a celebrity).

As a completely separate issue: He should lose his sponsorships IF THAT'S WHAT HIS SPONSORS DECIDE IS IN THEIR BEST INTEREST - its a business decision - and, consequently, none of our business.

I am joining Emmett on that one - he should be applied just the right amount of punishment to that anyone in that situation would be regardless of if they are a celebrity or not.So the poll should probably contain something like:he should get fair punshment and his endorsements should be considered by the companies sponsoring him.

dorothyrde
November 11th, 2004, 07:54 AM
Originally posted by 330man
I thought some of you might be interested in this article. It seems that Phelps picked up that new Land Rover he was hinting about.

http://www.swiminfo.com/lane9/news/8405.asp

There was a quote in this article from a Masters swimmer. If everything I had done at 19 was on the news, I would not have a future.

I think this is up to the judge to decide.

mattson
November 11th, 2004, 09:13 AM
Innocent or guilty, the middle option is still a valid choice.

swimr4life
November 11th, 2004, 09:38 AM
Yes, he messed up big time. Yes, he should be punished. I do feel sorry for him to some degree though! As we all know...learning through your mistakes is tough. I'm sure he has felt some kind of mental letdown from all the olympic hype and the tour he did afterward being over. He has to "grow up" under a microscope. I think his coach makes a very good point...we should support him now the way everyone did when he was our Olympic champ. Please note...by support, I don't think he means let him get by without punishment. I think he means we need to realize he is human and forgive him. He screwed up. I hope that he will use all this to teach his young..and old..fans that it is NEVER ok to drink and drive.

Dennis Tesch
November 12th, 2004, 10:51 AM
I think we are kidding our selves to think there won't be any preferential or special consideration with how they treat this situation. Being a celebrity could force the decision's in this case to go either way - no consequences at all or the maximum punishment.

I hope there are reasonable head's involved with this and we and Phelp's can all learn and progress from this mistake. This is a great time for USA Swimming, college swimming, and high school swimming to use Mike's celebrity status to educate our swimmers on the consequences of our decision's in life.

Speaking from my own youthful mistakes from 20 years ago, in a similar situation, my prayers go out to Mike. This is not an easy situation, but a lot of good can come out of it as well.

scyfreestyler
November 12th, 2004, 02:29 PM
Since Power Bar has stepped up and provided him with legal support, I doubt he will be getting the full punishment allowed by law. Speedo has also announced that they have no plans to alter their contract with Phelps in any way. I suspect he will get off pretty easy and make the best of a bad situation. When is the next big swim meet? FINA Montreal? By then this will all be a distant memory for the American public.

Conniekat8
November 14th, 2004, 09:54 PM
He made a mistake...
Those things happen to a lot of people. The kid is only 19, he's going through a ton of stuff that even very mature 19-year-olds aren't really equipped to deal with.
I bet most 45 year olds would have a tough time with everything that comes with suddenly being so high profile.
I'm more interested in seeing how he handles things from this point on, rather than what happened in this one incident.
Nobody is perfect.
People that I admire the most are those who put forth the effort to learn from their mistakes.

Rain Man
November 17th, 2004, 11:34 PM
This is disappointing to all swimming fans who had placed a lot of hope in Michael being the "new image" of the sport. What we got is an apparently brash individual who was caught making a mistake he has probably made in the past. Most drunk drivers are not caught on their "first offence".

However, most people do not serve jail time for committing a DUI. Whether or not they are under 21. Michael is likely to face a stiff fine, lose his license indefinitely without eligibility to regain until reaching age 21, and any reasonable judge will not see this as an opportunity to teach a lesson, but will see Michael as an opportunity to get the message out.

Best of luck to Michael, he is surely humbled by this incident and it can only serve him better in the long run. America is a forgiving society and no 19 year old will be branded for life for one stupid act. He has the chance to turn this into the largest no underage drinking/no drinking and driving campaign ever and we'll see what he's made of.

thisgirl13
November 26th, 2004, 10:00 PM
Being that I am probably nearest to Michael's actual age on this forum (no offense!!), I can safely say the following:

Yes. What he did was stupid, thoughtless, and completely irresponsible. He's probably lost a good deal of his parents' trust, not to mention his license and definite "party" privileges.

Let's also not forget that he now faces some major legal repercussions. I'm sorry, but "preferential" treatment or not, the very IDEA of a year in jail being an option would have me crying in my sleep.

And yes, I do feel a little sorry for this guy. I'm not perfect, and for some reason, we expect our idols to be. I know if every mistake I made ended up heading the 6 o'clock news, I'd never leave my house again. The point it, 19 year old idols make mistakes. Hell, 45 year old idols make mistakes. The biggest point is that he's admitting it, up front (did anybody hear about the apology he gave at the Golden Goggles?) and he recognizes that a lot of kids look up to him, and he's using his mistake as a way to educate kids.

Whether or not he gets preferential treatment, or loses sponsorships, is up to the judge, and to the companies. It seems, from what I've read and heard from friends, that he's willing to lie in the bed he's made, so to speak. That kind of makes me look up to him a little more. It seems that if we're going to judge public figures, we should start judging them more at how they are owning up to their mistakes, not the fact that they make them. The truth is, this 19 year old kid isn't turning tail from a mistake he made, despite the attention it's getting, is a little heroic to me. He definitely gets a thumbs up from me for turning a bad mistake into a learning experience for a lot of kids (and grown-ups).

Seagurl51
November 26th, 2004, 11:16 PM
Very well put. I agree with you. I'm only 18, and if everything I had done wrong at this point was being put up for public review, I would be in a totally different place. I would never leave my room. The idea of jail terrfies me, I've known people in jail and I would never want to go through that. The very fact that he put himself in a situation where that could happen shows a great deal of maturity. I don't think I would have been able to do that. I, like many, look up to Michael and all that he has done. This event has only made me look up to him more. He took responsiblity for a mistake that he made, which takes a great deal of courage to do. So I fully stand by Michael. While I disagree with what he did, he should have known better, I still support how he is dealing with it. He will definately take this and learn from it, and I think he will become a voice against drunk driving.

~Kyra

aquageek
November 28th, 2004, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
The very fact that he put himself in a situation where that could happen shows a great deal of maturity.

Yes, the very fact he ignored the almost constant reminders of the devastation that drinking and driving can cause shows maturity well beyond his tender 19 years.

Seagurl51
November 28th, 2004, 11:25 PM
Originally posted by aquageek
Yes, the very fact he ignored the almost constant reminders of the devastation that drinking and driving can cause shows maturity well beyond his tender 19 years.

The fact that he owned up to his wrong doing and took responsiblity for his actions showed maturity. The fact that he ignored what he was doing at the time was stupid and he should have known better.

gull
November 29th, 2004, 08:33 AM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
The fact that he owned up to his wrong doing and took responsiblity for his actions showed maturity.

I'm not sure I follow that reasoning. He failed a field sobriety test and was charged with DUI. So after being caught, admitting that he made a "mistake" is now a sign of maturity? And as for "taking responsibility," who else would be to blame?

Should he be "crucified"? Of course not. But I don't believe he's deserving of praise either.

aquageek
November 29th, 2004, 09:41 AM
If Phelps is this stand-up guy, mature beyond his years, a shining beacon of responsiblity for the youth of America, why didn't he crusade against drinking and driving prior to getting busted?

thisgirl13
November 29th, 2004, 09:58 AM
I think what Kyra was referring to is that he didn't run away from this.....does anybody else remember Halle Barry's hit and run? How about Wynona Ryder? I could go on, the point Kyra and I were trying to make is that YES, for CRYING OUT LOUD, Michael made a really stupid mistake. He's guilty of being human, and being entitled to make stupid mistakes, just like the rest of us. The difference between Michael and myself, however, is that if I do something stupid, and try and atone for it, I can reach maybe 50 people at my old high school. Michael can reach literally millions. What he's done that's "worthy of praise"is try and turn it into a positive thing for all the kids that look up to him. Because, let's face it, good or bad, people are still looking at Michael Phelps, and it's admirable that he recognizes that, and is trying to make a positive difference about it.

So to settle this, or at least try (I hate it when people argue :(), What Michael did was stupid, ignorant, and just plain dumb and dangerous. What he's doing about it NOW to make it better (not right, better) is what makes him different from every other public figure I can think of that has made mistakes (drugs, alcohol, traffic accidents, shoplifting, whatever). MICHEAL is owning up to it, and claiming sole responsibility. He didn't resist arrest, he didn't offer no comment to the media, and he didn't have some management representative release a skip-around statement. He called the media himself, and spent time at a local Girls and Boys Club that he frequented even before this happened, and he talked to them about drunk driving. He apologized to the entire swimming community during his acceptance speech (actually, it WAS his acceptance speech) when he was chosen as Male Athlete of the Year at the Golden Goggles. He wrote an apology letter to his fans and it sits posted on his website (www.michaelphelps.com). That's the part that shows he's mature about this. He made a mistake. A pretty stupid one. He's owning up to it, and doing everything he can, HIMSELF, to make an example out of it, not "I'm really not the bad guy, I swear, please please don't leave me", but rather "I made a mistake, one that you should never make, learn from me, I'm sorry". That's the point, aquageek. We're not condoning his actions, we just like what he's doing to own up to them. That's all.

~Steph~

Also, in case you were wondering, Craig, getting caught doesn't automatically cancel out the "i didn't do it" card. Regarding that Halle Berry incident where she was in a car accident (her fault) and drove from the scene, injured, EVEN IN court, where they said, "Look, we know you did it, we have witnesses, we know it was your car, and you were in it, you had a cut on your head when you arrived home, blah blah blah," her "official" response was "I don't really remember it, I was confused, dazed, from my injury. That must be why I left the scene." How's that for "we caught you, but you're not admitting anything?"

Seagurl51
November 29th, 2004, 10:39 AM
Once again I agree with Steph. What he did was wrong (I don't think anyone is agruing that), immature because all kids know better, and really stupid. But the fact that he stepped up to the plate and "took charge of the situation" I think is a responsible action. When Bill Clinton was being interrogated for having an affair, it took lying to Congress, extreme media pressure, and many other factors for him to finally own up to the fact that he did something wrong. So I think that by Michael admitting flat out he made an error, he took the higher road. Rather than try to dodge the situation or blame it on other factors, he came right out and said it was all my fault.

~Kyra

Just so we're clear and there's no debate...I'm comparing how Clinton and Phelps handled their situations not the situation that got them there.

gull
November 29th, 2004, 10:40 AM
Steph raises a good point. Michael has said he made a mistake, and he has said that drinking and driving is dangerous. I don't believe he has actually said that he was driving under the influence, however. Perhaps that's the true sign of maturity--conferring with your attorney before making public statements.

aquageek
November 29th, 2004, 10:51 AM
Originally posted by thisgirl13
I What he's doing about it NOW to make it better (not right, better) is what makes him different from every other public figure I can think of that has made mistakes (drugs, alcohol, traffic accidents, shoplifting, whatever). MICHEAL is owning up to it, and claiming sole responsibility. He didn't resist arrest, he didn't offer no comment to the media, and he didn't have some management representative release a skip-around statement.

You do realize, of course, he didn't own up to it until a week later when Matt Druge (spelling?) put it on the web. I don't find it particularly admirable that he drove drunk, waited a few days, got found out by the media, went public and is now a crusader. That, to me, sounds a lot like a PR machine gearing up, not a person who immediately owns up to a wrong.

Seagurl51
November 29th, 2004, 12:11 PM
Originally posted by aquageek
You do realize, of course, he didn't own up to it until a week later when Matt Druge (spelling?) put it on the web. I don't find it particularly admirable that he drove drunk, waited a few days, got found out by the media, went public and is now a crusader. That, to me, sounds a lot like a PR machine gearing up, not a person who immediately owns up to a wrong.

The way I understood it, from what the different articles have been saying, he was caught on Friday night, and then the following Monday is when the story broke. It also said that after his release, so I guess Saturday morning, he called the media himself to give a statement and his apology. So my understanding is he did own up "immediately" but the media didn't release it until Monday.

gull
November 29th, 2004, 12:49 PM
Actually, he was arrested on Thursday night, November 4. According to the Baltimore Sun, the state police released the information on Monday, November 8, after which he issued his apology. Apparently he telephoned several major newspapers and media outlets and read a prepared statement. The story was published the following day.

On Sunday he was introduced at the Ravens' game.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-te.md.phelps09nov09,1,2398558.story

thisgirl13
November 29th, 2004, 10:13 PM
Yay for Craig doing his homework! You're right, Michael was arrested Thursday night, released Friday (in Maryland, drunk driving is an automatic overnighter, followed by the year in jail if convicted stint) Actually, on a second thought, I think it's an automatic overnighter pretty much everywhere (never been a drunk driver, don't know for sure). The story broke Monday, after a student from the party Michael attended with his girlfriend (who goes to the university) tipped off the media to look in the police logs (apparently, said student was miffed about something). When the story broke Monday, Michael began calling reporters nationally, reading a statement he and his mother prepared. Not PR machine.

Aquageek, you've taken a very staunch point of view, and I commend your disbelief in the regard that we are fooled by coverups much of the time, along with "I'm only sorry I got caught" scenarios. However, I'm also afraid you seem to think Kyra and I are condoning what Michael did.

Just for the record, whatever that may be, I am not condoning Michael Phelps drinking and driving. Nobody is. That isn't even really the topic of discussion here. What we're saying (not to speak for Kyra) is that we like the way he's handling it. He's not hiding behing the PR guys, who no doubt are standing behind him saying, "Just shut UP and stay home for awhile, and everyone will forget about it." Most reps have this anti-thesis about drawing attention to the very thing that they're trying to avoid talking about. Michael is sticking his neck out, he's letting people judge him, and he's using all this negative attention to teach kids a lesson.

As to why he didn't speak out against drunk driving before, this is a close as I can come to an answer: Why didn't Lance Armstrong advocate cancer research six years ago? Maybe he did. But sometimes, it takes a personal experience to make your voice louder, to give people a real reason to listen to you. I could speak out against drunk driving, and so could the guy who spent years in jail because he killed a family driving drunk, and I can guarantee that guy's message will sound better than mine. Personal experience, love.

That's all from this soundbox, because she has school, work, and swim practice tomorrow (Jim's so not getting a Christmas Card from me because of these distance practices with no rest).

Kisses to all, try not to stay up too late,

~Steph~

Fred Johnson
November 29th, 2004, 11:49 PM
Not to add fuel to the fire but Phelps could have hired a good lawyer (I know plenty who would have taken it for free publicity) and fought the DUI claiming he was not "under the influence." Good criminal defense lawyers know how to defend DUIs even with a client who "failed" a field sobriety test. A public apology and admission that he made a mistake probably makes most defenses implausible (since the statements are admissible against him). I'm not taking any position on his actions just suggesting that he had alternatives to admitting his guilt and he chose to forego those.

Seagurl51
November 30th, 2004, 12:29 AM
Phelps did hire a good lawyer...Powerbar stepped up and offered legal support and you can bet that they got good ones. I think the thing to realize is that Michael admitted his wrong before he hired a lawyer to get him out of it. He realized that there would be punishment and came out anyway.

~Kyra

p.s. Once again, nice job Steph......and I too am responding to this thread rather than study for finals in three weeks!

aquageek
November 30th, 2004, 05:11 AM
Originally posted by thisgirl13
Why didn't Lance Armstrong advocate cancer research six years ago? Maybe he did. But sometimes, it takes a personal experience to make your voice louder, to give people a real reason to listen to you.

The voluntary decision to imperil your life and the lives of others by drinking and driving is far different than getting cancer. Armstrong's fight against cancer and subsequent crusade is much different that what Phelps is doing after getting busted committing a crime.

gull
November 30th, 2004, 09:03 AM
Originally posted by Fred Johnson
Not to add fuel to the fire but Phelps could have hired a good lawyer (I know plenty who would have taken it for free publicity) and fought the DUI claiming he was not "under the influence." Good criminal defense lawyers know how to defend DUIs even with a client who "failed" a field sobriety test. A public apology and admission that he made a mistake probably makes most defenses implausible (since the statements are admissible against him). I'm not taking any position on his actions just suggesting that he had alternatives to admitting his guilt and he chose to forego those.

Actually he has two lawyers, according to the Baltimore Sun, which were hired for him. And. while this may be parsing, he did not admit that he was guilty of DUI--he apologized for making a mistake and then said that drinking and driving is wrong and dangerous.

I think he's handled the situation about as well as he could. I just don't see this as a sign of maturity. He certainly wasn't acting maturely when he got behind the wheel of his SUV after drinking.

thisgirl13
November 30th, 2004, 09:10 AM
Touche, aquageek...however, I wasn't comparing drunk driving to getting cancer, I was trying to compare how Lance Armstrong didn't advocate cancer research until he got cancer, same way Michael Phelps didn't speak out against drinking and driving until he got drunk and drove. Not saying it wasn't a choice or anything. Please accept my apologies if it came across like that.

Kyra, good luck on your finals! I know we're keeping you distracted....I, personally, missed class today (alarm just didn't quite want to go off this morning at 5)...I'm such a loser, hehe.

Fred, welcome to the fire! I like what you said; you seem to have a very good understanding what we're trying to talk about.

For everybody out there who just browses by and takes a look at all this, let me make it clear, one last time; WE ARE NOT CONDONING WHAT MICHAEL PHELPS DID. Period. That's not even up for discussion. We just like the way he's handling himself. There's kind of a higher bar for him, since nobody this high up has ever done something like this. In any other sport, this wouldn't be such a discussion (hel-LO! Kobe Bryant, anyone?) and we'd be applauding the guy that said, um, yeah, I did it, I'm sorry, please don't drink and drive, instead of frying his ass for doing it at all. Swimmers, as a community, are like the children of rich parents who turn their nose up at the YMCA, and swim at the country club instead. It's not that we seem more prejudiced (because we kinda are), it's that we really don't know any better because we've been on the better side of the track.

Fred Johnson
November 30th, 2004, 08:39 PM
Originally posted by gull80
Actually he has two lawyers, according to the Baltimore Sun, which were hired for him. And. while this may be parsing, he did not admit that he was guilty of DUI--he apologized for making a mistake and then said that drinking and driving is wrong and dangerous.

I think he's handled the situation about as well as he could. I just don't see this as a sign of maturity. He certainly wasn't acting maturely when he got behind the wheel of his SUV after drinking.

The law school professor agrees with your observation that he did not admit that he was driving under the influence, but the prosecutor and defense lawyer who present the case to the jury know that an admission that he "made a mistake" is tantamount to an admission that he was under the influence. Your not parsing but practically the result for him is the same.

Michael Phelps is probably reading this and a thousand other threads on swimming, sports and People magazine websites and thinking to himself, "what kind of a [blank] storm did I start?" The question for him now is whether he takes the Daryll Strawberry/Robert Downey Jr./[insert favorite screw up celebrity] route or take the less traveled road and not making the same (or substantially similar) mistake again. I hope he has strong parental and adult (read:agent, coach) support around him who are not "yesmen/women" but rather exert positive influence to keep him focused on greater achievements. Nobody likes watching a falling star.

thisgirl13
November 30th, 2004, 09:50 PM
Originally posted by Fred Johnson
Michael Phelps is probably reading this and a thousand other threads on swimming, sports and People magazine websites and thinking to himself, "what kind of a [blank] storm did I start?" The question for him now is whether he takes the Daryll Strawberry/Robert Downey Jr./[insert favorite screw up celebrity] route or take the less traveled road and not making the same (or substantially similar) mistake again.

Fred, I PM'd you regarding this.........

~Steph~

gull
December 4th, 2004, 12:53 PM
This update was on the Swim Info website:

http://www.swiminfo.com/lane9/news/8525.asp

scyfreestyler
December 4th, 2004, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by gull80
This update was on the Swim Info website:

http://www.swiminfo.com/lane9/news/8525.asp I saw that on SWIMINFO also. The content of that article makes Phelps look like a real prick for two reasons. The first was him asking if the officer knew who he was and the second was the fact that his girlfriend was stone cold sober. Not only was he arrogant but he had a passenger who had NOT been drinking. This guy really needs a big swimming event to put all of this bad publicity behind him. The next big meet is FINA Montreal, correct?

Seagurl51
December 4th, 2004, 07:46 PM
That's too bad to hear about Phelps being cocky and having sober passengers. He always seemed so down to earth, on the other hand when you're 19 and all of sudden achieve a huge level of fame some it is bound to go to your head....Tiger Woods did the same thing (tried to buy a drink and when the bartender said no asked if he knew who he was). Unfortunately it takes a bad event to really humble someone and make them realize they are just like everyone else; that just because they have name recognition doesn't make them above the law. As for his passengers being sober, he should have let them drive or one of them should have stepped up and taken the keys from him. It will be interesting to see what happens with his trial.

Fred Johnson
December 5th, 2004, 12:16 AM
When a news outlet quotes "a source", I have to wonder what is fact and what is tabloid. Michael Phelps doesn't deserve to become a pariah based on media reports.

thisgirl13
December 5th, 2004, 01:16 AM
I agree with Fred.

It's hard to discern from the media what is fact and what is people talking to the press, expanding certain facts to make them sound more gossip-worthy.

And what's a shame, Kyra, is that most of the Olympian swimmers don't even have a chance to get used to their fame before it's gone. Most of the world only cares about swimming when it's on their TV's every four years (I'm not negating swimming, just making a point). So, unlike Tiger Woods, or Jeff Gordon, or even actual stars like Colin Farrell or Brad Pitt, the swimmers are just as struck by all the attention as the world temporarily is with them (except Down Under. Swimming is Aussie baseball, I swear it, like a religion). They don't really have enough time to go "Get out of my way, I'm famous," as much as, "Wow, look at all the people, stop taking pictures from my lawn."

Fred Johnson
December 5th, 2004, 08:32 PM
Quote: They don't really have enough time to go "Get out of my way, I'm famous," as much as, "Wow, look at all the people, stop taking pictures from my lawn."


This is a good point: olympic swimmers (and other amateur athletes) barely have time to comprehend the fame that is thrust on them. I don't think they have time to embrace that fame to the point they start questioning cops about it. But I can just as easily speculate that some "source" thought it would make good news copy if he/she reported that a star olympian popped off to a cop.

That's the problem with speculating. You never know when you might get hit with some facts.

laineybug
December 5th, 2004, 10:12 PM
Or maybe he meant I am the son of a state trooper. It really doesn't matter what he meant or if he said it or not. The kid is getting tried in the media because of who he is.

Fred Johnson
December 5th, 2004, 11:45 PM
Originally posted by laineybug
Or maybe he meant I am the son of a state trooper. It really doesn't matter what he meant or if he said it or not. The kid is getting tried in the media because of who he is.

Exactly my point. The media report things heard (or made up) whether credible or not, whether relevant or not. Many people discern from these reports not only guilt/innocence but also personality characteristics. Trial by news report doesn't count. Its not relevant and not particularly reliable. The facts (as they are, not as we speculate them to be) have the only relevance in this matter. But regardless of what the facts are, one fact remains: this young man is 19 years old; he is a YOUNG man. If he was irresponsible on this occasion doesn't make him a miscreant or an irresponsible person per se, no matter who he is.

aquageek
December 6th, 2004, 08:33 AM
Originally posted by Fred Johnson
If he was irresponsible on this occasion doesn't make him a miscreant or an irresponsible person per se, no matter who he is.

What, then, would make him irresponsible? He got into a large vehicle drunk and underage by legal standards. He might have had a sober person in the car to drive and he might have tried to use his personna to beat the ticket.

And, the newest apologetic rambling on this forum is that all this fame thrust upon him makes it ok to drive drunk.

And, Bug, for the record, he will be tried in a court of law and suffer the consequences of his actions in the court of public (and financial) opinion.

laineybug
December 6th, 2004, 09:01 AM
Geek, I didn't say he wouldn't be tried in court, what I said was he was being tried in the media. And I've never said he should be excused because of his age or fame or whatever. He should stand trial just like the rest of us would and suffer the consequences just like the rest of us would, but the media coverage is making that extremely difficult.

gull
December 6th, 2004, 09:18 AM
I think it's unreasonable to expect the media to cover his achievements but look the other way when he screws up, as in this case. Prior to, during and after the Olympics he received nothing but positive press, and he certainly didn't seem to mind the attention at that time. Unfortunately, actions have consequences. The good news for him is that eventually this story, like others, will run it's course and fade from memory.

aquageek
December 6th, 2004, 09:19 AM
If he was just like the common man and didn't want to be treated differently in this case, he should not have (allegedly) thrown his name around and accepted legal counsel from his sponsors. Can't have it both ways.

thisgirl13
December 6th, 2004, 12:22 PM
You should not be so quick to judge someone by what you read, Geek. You weren't there; you don't know. I concur with Fred; there is too much irreputable material being provided to the media to discern fact from fiction.

Fact: Michael Phelps drove drunk. Stupidly. Irresponsibly.

Fact: He will face a judge and be punished according to Maryland's laws, and the judge's discretion.

Fact: No one on here is saying it's okay to drink and drive if you're famous. That's ridiculous. We're saying (at least I am) that he's going to be punished according to state laws. It's stupid that everyone thinks they're entitled to step up and take a swing too. Like kicking an injured person. It is not up to us to judge him. Period. Unless one thinks it fair that we also publish one's mistakes in the newspaper and then judge one. Since I'm not that brave, I reserve the right to judge myself, and nobody else.

thisgirl13
December 6th, 2004, 12:23 PM
Also, for Craig: you're right. He's gotta learn to accept that everything he does is pretty much going to be published, good with bad. It's a lesson he's learned the hard way, and will eventually run it's course, but not without leaving behind an impression.

aquageek
December 6th, 2004, 12:32 PM
Originally posted by thisgirl13
Like kicking an injured person.

The continued insistence that Phelps is somehow the victim here is ridiculous. He brought this on himself, he can suffer the consequences like a big boy, although not big enough to drive drunk.

SwiminONandON
December 6th, 2004, 12:35 PM
I think Michael is lucky. Why? First of all no one was hurt or killed! Thank God! I am very strongly opposed to drinking and driving. As everyone else has said he made a mistake. It’s not for any of us to decide whether or not he should lose sponsors or to what extent of the law he should be prosecuted.

I drank before I was 21. Most people I know did. Was it “illegal”? Yes. Was I in college and “invincible”? Yes. Michael Phelps knows nothing but swimming. For the last four years (and most of his life) he has done nothing but swim, sleep and eat. He now has a lot of money and fame. He’s also injured and probably bored. (He needs to get his butt to Michigan and get back into the pool, but that’s a story for another day)
I don’t know very many 19 year old guys that could handle the fame and money any better. How many times did you hear about Britney Spears getting drunk and doing stupid things or Paris Hilton (Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe - both of whom are significantly older)? I am in no way shape or form defending Michael’s actions. I don’t understand why one of the sober people in the car wasn’t driving. Maybe he was being protective of his car, maybe he didn’t realized how much he had to drink (no excuse), maybe he was thinking hey, I’m Michael Phelps, what wrong could happen, maybe he wasn’t thinking at all.

I was not at all surprised when I heard about Michael. I do however, like the fact that he stepped up (even if it was after the media reports, because how many of you would have stepped up before them?) and admitted that what he did was wrong and that it was inexcusable. He didn’t try to blame the cops or deny things. That does take a certain amount of responsibility and maturity. He didn’t run and hide from the allegations either and totally snub the press. Also I’d like to know how many of you would turn down free top legal counsel. Lawyers are VERY expensive.

I can see the “fluff” piece on this during the next Olympics ... “He was the golden boy in Athens, then just a few short months later his world was turned upside down when he was arrested for a DUI. He was injured and floundering ...” *gag* can’t you all just see it now, though?

I think he absolutely should suffer the consequences of his actions... I am sure most 19 year olds aren't thrown in the slammer for a year for a DUI ... likely his license will be suspended (won't it be a B*tch to get him to early AM workouts?), he'll do community service, and pay a fine, which is what most other 19 year olds would do.

On a side note, is he ever going to start training again?

gull
December 6th, 2004, 12:53 PM
Originally posted by SwiminONandON
How many times did you hear about Britney Spears getting drunk and doing stupid things or Paris Hilton (Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe - both of whom are significantly older)?

And none of whom are Olympians. On the other hand, perhaps that title doesn't mean as much as we once thought it did.

aquageek
December 6th, 2004, 12:57 PM
Originally posted by SwiminONandON
Lawyers are VERY expensive.

And, Michael is VERY wealthy.

laineybug
December 6th, 2004, 01:10 PM
I can think of one other Olympian who got in trouble with alcohol after winning a gold medal... the little girl who won figure skating, beat Nancy Carigan.

Many youths are not ready to handle success of the kind that comes with winning a gold medal at the Olympics. GEEK, I'm not excusing his actions, just making an observation.

gull
December 6th, 2004, 01:22 PM
Good point. Perhaps we should lower our expectations. As Bob Costas observed, in light of the Balco case, it's probably time to stop idolizing our sports superstars.

craiglll@yahoo.com
December 6th, 2004, 01:41 PM
This is a very unscientific note. I went through the messages to see what differentiated the very responses. I looked for negative reposnses that stated he shoudl be punished or not treated differently ( yes those are slightly different), supporting remarks, and indiffernet remarks. This is what I found. I tried to not count multiple entries made by the same person.

Southerners made 5 remarks about him that seemed more negative and 1 remark that seemed more supportive.

Northerners had 2 negative remarks and 2 supportive remarks.

Westernerers had 4supportive remarks and 1 wait and see type remark.

There is another discussion forum about this. I am going to go throgh it shortly.

gull
December 6th, 2004, 02:01 PM
As we used to say in Texas, "String 'em up!"

Actually, I grew up on the west coast.

thisgirl13
December 6th, 2004, 08:27 PM
I believe Emmitt posted this first.....but I like it....it should play to all opinions on this thread....and if it doesn't, then I'm sorry. I can't make people see my opinions anymore than they can make me see theirs. But that's the beauty of these threads. Nobody really has to agree. Besides, it isn't our situation to live with, we have the luxury of sitting back on our soapboxes, discussing his turn in life like the way my brothers and used to argue who's going to go first in Monopoly.

http://www.swiminfo.com/lane9/news/8405.asp

Fred Johnson
December 6th, 2004, 11:40 PM
The olympic ice skater referenced earlier was Oksana Bayule (sp.) who had a run in with a tree (I think) after a party.

SwiminONandON
December 7th, 2004, 12:23 AM
I am not saying that Mike couldn't afford lawyers, obviously he can. And as someone previously stated there are likely more than a few that would do it for the publicitiy, but I still wouldn't turn down free top legal help ... maybe that's just me....

jswim
December 13th, 2005, 10:46 AM
I have to agree with you. I wouldn't turn down free top legal either.

He did something stupid (as most of us have done), and yes, I grew up drinking before I was 21 as well, as did most of the people I knew. Yes, it was dumb and illegal, but the consequences should be the same for him as any other teen that got a dui.

As for sponsorship, that's up to them to decide, and I agree with Heather that it's impressive to see someone face this situation with the amount of responsibility that he has, I've seen many other supposed 'role models' shirk away from taking responsibilities before, and it's refreshing to see someone act respectfully and responsibly.

FindingMyInnerFish
June 2nd, 2006, 08:53 PM
My sense of it is that more will be accomplished in a positive way by having him do *appropriate* community service. This could be anything from working with organizations like DARE, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) or SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving). A jail sentence would help no one, whereas someone with his reputation could find a way to bring good from potential harm. This isn't only about Michael Phelps. It's about how to prevent future drunk driving by Phelps and others.

Some have questioned his sincerity in owning up for what he did. I tend to think he was sincere--young, perhaps scared at first to go public, but finally pulling himself together and coming around to doing the right thing. Sainthood takes a lifetime to achieve. He's human and like most of us learning from experience. So the most constructive way to respond is to give him the chance to continue learning and others the chance to learn from him to avoid his mistake.

GoRedFoxes
June 6th, 2006, 01:41 PM
I miss the 70s.

orca1946
March 23rd, 2009, 06:28 PM
None of the choices apply. Did he hurt anyone? Allgedly he help a smoking device with something in it.

ViveBene
March 23rd, 2009, 07:03 PM
None of the choices apply. Did he hurt anyone? Allgedly he help a smoking device with something in it.

??
This poll is from November 2004, about his drunk driving citation/conviction.

shadowxvi
March 23rd, 2009, 08:08 PM
I don't think anything should happen. He was at a private party. Who cares? Has nobody here ever broken the law (drinking under age or experimenting). As long as he is not out advocating that everyone should do it who cares what he does in private. Not his fault someone is out to make money by selling incriminating photos. Besides marijuana is slowly becoming legalized anyway.

geochuck
March 24th, 2009, 12:54 AM
This is old stuff. It is too bad he was not driving DUI in Canada where you receive a criminal record for DUI.
http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/MISC/driving/s20p1.htm

Dacsus65
March 24th, 2009, 10:31 AM
He's young and made a bad choice, however because he is a role-model Phelps should step up and talk to the next generation of swimmers about health and choices.