Michael Phelps has been slow to react publicly to the media controversy surrounding the release of a picture showing him smoking marijuana through a bong. One can imagine the sudden public relations turn that has happened with Phelps, going from international recognition for his domination at the Olympics to taking a defense posture with a bombardment of criticism and scorn. Although it might be tempting for Phelps to apologize for his behavior so that he may preserve his endorsement deals, Subverisify would like to take this opportunity to offer an alternative defense strategy that might have far more of a social and political impact.
On whether the picture in question was indeed him:
A boring cliché response: “ Yes it was me, I’m disappointed and embarrassed”
A Subversify response: “ It might be, like I’m going to remember after taking that hit”
An explanation of events:
A boring cliché response: “In some situations we are put under pressure to do things that we later regret. I was foolish in my decision to this.”
A Subvesify response: “ I was with my boys and broke out ol’ Smoky. Man I was Joansing and needed a hit of that sticky sweet. After 3 hours of bong hits and keg stands, I was crunk’n.
On moral responsibility as a public figure:
A boring cliché response: “I forgot about my responsibility as a person who is not only a figurehead for international athletics, but as a role model for millions of children”
A Subversify response: “Wait just a fucking second. I didn’t ask to be a role mode. You people made me one. One year ago I was just another college kid busting his butt at a sport, doing something I loved. You wanted to pin your products on my success. I was the convenient marketing vehicle, and I gladly took your cash. And go fuck yourself if you think smoking weed magically makes me a bad person.”
On the wrongs of marijuana:
A boring cliché response: Marijuana has many negative effects, and my use of it encourages further consumption
A Subversify response: “ That’s a loaded question. Drinking can be bad too, yet they sell alcohol at most sporting events. Its all about moderation and self control. Rather than trying to make me a media punching bag, you people in the press could be using this opportunity to bring light to the hypocrisy surrounding the criminalization of marijuana in this country. It’s the one illegal drug that everyone seems to use. If I wanted a joint right now, all I’d have to do is go to a local franchise restaurant and ask my waiter “ Are you cool?
I refuse to say that there was anything wrong in what I did. I’m a college student, I’m young and I like having a good time. Sometimes I do a bong hit. I’ve got a neck filled with gold medals. I earned them, and I think I have the right to have a good time once and a while. I didn’t kill anyone, I didn’t rob or hurt anyone. Kids who saw my picture should have their parents be honest for a change rather than lying and telling them what I did was bad. The last four generations of people in this country have had an active part in consuming marijuana, yet their too chicken shit to just come out and push for its legality. Smoking a joint should be no different than cracking open a beer. And we can’t get there if everyone keeps saying that Michael Phelps is the bad guy. “
The writer does not consume or endorse the consumption of marijuana