As most people probably know, an embarrassing picture surfaced of Michael Phelps smoking pot from a bong.  Because of this photo, Phelps will most likely lose millions of endorsements just for inhaling one night.  As a fellow person in my twenties, I do not find such a discovery shocking, surprising, or even bad.

In my view, the uproar about this whole thing is totally overblown.   Michael Phelps is 24 years old and like most twenty-somethings, he parties.  That is not unusual nor should it be held against him.  If he were using performance enhancing drugs or something of that sort, I would understand why people would be interested, as that would indicate cheating.  But what he does in his own spare time is his own business and nobody else’s.

While people argue that Michael Phelps must be judged by a higher standard just because he’s an Olympic athlete,  I disagree.  He is a human being and he makes mistakes, just like anyone else.  I think it’s arbitrary and unfair to say he has to be a beacon of innocence while excusing the behavior of other young people.  I believe when you put any person on such a high standard, they are not going to live up to it.

Also, this is yet another example of the media overstepping their bounds and breaching a celebrity’s privacy.  That picture should not have been published.  Michael Phelps gets followed constantly and has his life under a microscope.  If he goes to the grocery store, there’s TMZ or OK! magazine following him there.  Not only does Phelps have to deal with the lack of privacy that comes with being a celebrity, he is also supposed to be a moral puritan to all young people.  When you are constantly followed and not allowed to make a mistake, you are bound to fail.

To me, the only mistake Michael Phelps made was acting his age.  It’s time we gave him a break and let him live his life in peace.

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