Relaxing: Changing All Athletes

May 27, 2009

Relaxing is not so simple anymore. It used to be reading Nancy Drew on the porch with a glass of lemonade. Or maybe watching a classic episode of Seinfeld. Not anymore.

Michael Phelps, Gold Medalist, was caught with a bond. Endorsers defend Phelps by describing his wild night as a way to “relax.” Well, if that’s relaxing . . . parents should be concerned for their children.

Phelps had everything going for him. Too many Gold Medals (more than Mark Spitz) and multiple endorsements, etc. His “relaxing” fiasco was punished by three months off (USA swimming found this fit the crime—especially since there is so much going on in the swimming world in the next three months) and Kellogg took away its endorsement.

How awful for Phelps.

One of the best athletes in the world committed a crime and his only punishment is no swimming for three months. How dreadful. Phelps gets to “relax” for three months. Oh. And no more Kellogg’s cereal for him.

Yes, Phelps’ scandal was discussed by hoards of journalists, just dying for a new story, but what about all the other athletes. What about the athletes that have private lives similar to Phelps?

Football players are notorious for this sort of behavior. Drugs. DUI’s. Oh and dog fighting. The list goes on and on. When their public life gets them in trouble, I guarantee 90% of their endorsements are lost. And I guarantee they are not defended by saying they were “relaxing” and “what he does in his private life is none of our business.”

As an athlete, Phelps is not only setting an example to his fans, he’s setting an example to all the other professional athletes. What will happen if Tom Brady gets caught smoking a bong? Will they use the same excuse?

Maybe they will just say he was relaxing . . .

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