The revelation that 14-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps attended a raging party where he consumed alcohol to excess and smoked marijuana from a glass water-filtration device commonly known as a “bong” is being treated as a breath of fresh air by many parents.
Reginald Grayson, a father of two boys (ages 7 and 10) has pleased with the news:
“Michael Phelps has accomplished so much professionally, but the talk of hard work and countless hours training, the strange diet, and the fact that he seemed kind of bland in interviews really turned my boys off of swimming. Now they’re finally getting to see that there is a fun side to being successful.”
Other parents welcomed the opportunity to speak frankly with their children about marijuana. Marie St. Edison had this to say:
I find it difficult to talk to my daughter about drugs in general, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to approach the fact that marijuana use is widespread among professional athletes, as we’re not really basketball fans. Phelps is an example we can really relate too.
I mean, if you can win all those gold medals while still getting higher than a hot-air balloon, how bad can it really be?
Even President of the United States (and father of two) Barack Obama was relieved by the news:
“As a former marijuana user, it’s important that we convey to children that experimenting with mind-altering substances in your late teens and early twenties will not prevent you from becoming President of the United States, or from becoming the most decorated athlete in Olympic history.”
Yes, Phelps’ perfectly age-appropriate behavior is a shining example for all of us. Thankfully, no one in the media has engaged in any over-the-top hysterics about the message this sends to children or demanded a hollow-sounding apology.