All we know about 12-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps’s adventures with narcotics is that he’s smoked marijuana from a bong at least one time in his life.
That puts Phelps in the company of about 127 million other Americans — the 42% of Americans who admit to trying marijuana at some point in the lives, according to a Bloomberg News report from last July.
For this, food-maker Kellogg’s says it will stop paying Phelps to endorse its products.
“Michael’s most recent behaviour is not consistent with the image of Kellogg. His contract expires at the end of February and we have made a decision not to extend his contract,” said a Kellogg’s rep.
Is the behavoir of those 127 million Americans “not consistent with the image of Kellogg”?
Huffington Post’s Cenk Uygur poses the question in a post titled: “Why Firing Phelps Might Cost Kellogg More Customers”:
Kellogg Co. recently fired Michael Phelps for admitting he smoked marijuana (after a picture of him taking a bong hit came out on the press). This is a decision that would have been absolutely justified in 1955. But this is 2009. No one gives a damn. In fact, they are more likely to lose customers than gain them by making such a public display of their displeasure.
You know how many people have smoked marijuana in America? A whopping 42%. That is a huge chunk of the country Kellogg has just personally insulted because they are saying implicitly that their behaviour is so wrong that they would fire them over it.
But what’s worse is the even larger percentage who don’t care if anyone else smokes marijuana and are turned off by anyone else who judges them for it. Now, I’m not a pothead. I don’t think hemp is the answer for all of our problems (you know someone smokes a lot of pot when they feverishly tell you that you can make pants out of hemp – yes, but is that what you do with it?) . But I – and everyone else I know – could not possibly care less if someone else wants to smoke pot.