Drug Policy

Michael Phelps OK With Sponsors For Now


Michael Phelps doesn't seem to be in much hot water with his sponsors despite being photographed inhaling from a marijuana pipe. From apparel company Speedo to luxury Swiss watchmaker Omega, several sponsors are standing by the 23-year-old swimming phenom—at least for now—and have accepted his public apology. Other big companies, like Visa Inc., Subway and Kellogg Co., aren't talking yet.

Experts say if Phelps doesn't stick to the straight and narrow, he could hurt his chances at future endorsements. And there's no guarantee he won't be dropped quietly once the furor dies down.

After being photographed smoking a bong in South Carolina, swimming superstar Phelps apologized for "regrettable" behavior and "bad judgment. More here.

Radley Balko writes the statement Phelps should have delivered. Yesterday, I asked a basic question: Is Doing Bong Hits When You're A 23-Year-Old Swimming Legend Really "Regrettable" Behavior?

NEXT: A Bit of Change

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. As should he be! A little pot never hurt anyone! Phelps is the new poster child for the pot heads of the world!


  2. The sponsors should probably get out now. Now that Michael Phelps is doing hard drugs, his body is going to fall apart, and he’s never going to accomplish anything ever again.

    Imagine if he had done drugs before the Olympics… he probably would have embarrassed himself in the pool.

    I wonder if he’ll even manage to stay alive to watch the next Olympics from his couch?

  3. Pot should be embarassed to be associated with Speedo, and not the other way around.

  4. I reiterate that the potheads of America, and their allies, should proactively call Phelps’ sponsors to let them know there will be a boycott if they DO drop Phelps.

  5. I would think Subway and Kelloggs would see that this hits their secondary market nicely. Let him apologize to the soccer moms and all will be right with the world. Soccer moms who are alcoholics and cheat on their husbands, of course. Hypocrits always demand apologies.

  6. Pot should be embarassed to be associated with Speedo, and not the other way around.

    I was friends with a lot of swimmers in high school, and based on their behavior it seems like a match made in heaven.

  7. lots of ADHD people are drawn to pot.

  8. lots of ADHD people are drawn to pot.

    That is stupid and illegal, Ritalin and Adderal are the FDA approved treatments for ADHD.

  9. His sponsors at Rosetta Stone should do a special “Learn the languages of countries where pot is legal” promotion. I bet they would sell tons of software.

  10. Scene: Living Room- curtains are mostly drawn, leaving the room dimly lit. In the background there is a television soundtrack (cartoon violence).

    Camera picks up Phelps, slumped on couch, with enormous bowl of cereal in his lap. On the coffe table, next to one splayed foot, we see a large box of Kellogg’s Sugar Frosted Flakes.

    Soundtrack changes to a vintage Frosted Flakes commercial; we hear Tony the Tiger in the background.

    As the commercial concludes, Phelps roars, in tandem with Tony:

    They’re GRRRRRREAT!


  11. The sheriff is threating to arrest him.

  12. It was good to hear on Mike & Mike this morning (ESPN Radio) that so many people were emailing in that pot is no big deal so this is also no big deal. But then Mike and Mike said how stupid it is because he could lose lots of money? So, my question is, if this bong hit occurred in Amsterdam, would it remain a controversy or would he be praised as being smart enough to go where it is legal?

  13. “The sheriff is threating to arrest him.”

    Note to Self: Never again go to South Carolina.

  14. The sheriff is threating to arrest him.

    Yeah, right. The sheriff is a blowhard who only wants a headline, and if Michael Phelps showed up in his office, would probably ask him for an autograph.

  15. Is Juanita a troll composite like Lefiti?

  16. I hope the sheriff issues a warrent – the back lash could do much to turn public opinion against prohibition. I’m betting Phelps is more popular than the drug war.

  17. Is Juanita a troll composite like Lefiti?

    Something like that.

  18. But he could be in trouble with Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, who says he will charge Phelps with a crime if he can determine whether the marijuana was smoked in Richland County.

    The stench of rotten bacon travels all the way from Richland County, South Carolina, to Humboldt County, California. I can smell it where I am (and it’s not me).

  19. I’m curious as to just what crime Sheriff Lott thinks was committed by Phelps. Most drug laws are written to apply to possession, distribution, etc., but not mere use. If he thinks that holding a pinch of marijuana belonging to someone else for a few seconds before burning it is “possession”, well, good luck with that.

  20. When I heard about this I thought “Hey, maybe this guy isn’t a complete douche”. Then I heard the apology and thought “No, he’s a bigger douche than I thought”.

  21. Imagine what successes Michael Phelps, Barack Obama, and Paul McCartney could have been had they never used drugs.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.