Tarnished Images: Alex Rodriguez and Michael Phelps

Al SileshiContributor IFebruary 9, 2009

Celebrities and athletes in America are treated like royalty—until they screw up. Then they're put on a platter to be chewed up by the media and fans. The most recent examples of such blunders are Olympic hero Micheal Phelps and Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez.

I live in Maryland and Micheal Phelps is a big deal here—a role model for local youth—especially in the Baltimore area.

When I heard the news about the picture of Phelps doing illegal drugs, I was disappointed, but not surprised, and I'm positive it wasn't an isolated incident.

Phelps had a was arrested for a DUI a couple of years ago, and he's a young kid with money—he's bound to make some mistakes. He is certainly not the only athlete to abuse marijuana' but his biggest mistake was allowing himself to be photographed.

In no way do I condone what Phelps did. but should his image really be forever scarred because he hit a bong at a party?

While he deserves some scrutiny for his actions, and certainly some sort of punishment, I feel that the three month suspension from the U.S. team and Kellogg's dropping him was a tad harsh. This said, Phelps knows his mistake, and for his sake, I hope he learned his lesson. He should be remembered as the greatest swimmer ever instead of the bad- boy Olympian.

Alex Rodriguez is arguably the best player in baseball right now, and will certainly go down as one of the best ever, but is that what people will remember when they look back on the career of A-Rod?

I am happy Rodriguez decided to just come out and admit abusing steroids. Although he didn't have much of an option, it's certainly the first step in a long process of cleaning up his image.

Who are we kidding if we think that he's the only big- name slugger to take steroids?

Rodriguez is disliked by a lot of people who think he's a bad guy, or arrogant. Now with this revelation, it's like throwing oil on the fire. Rodriguez is an amazing player, but he could join Pete Rose on the list of great players not inducted into the Hall of Fame.

But even worse then what A-Rod did to his image is what he has done to Major League Baseball.

The MLB will have their hands full trying to clean up the mess not only A-Rod, but many trainers, coaches, and countless players have created. A-Rod will surely be hit with a lot of the blame because of recognition, but many players have done a huge disservice to the MLB and its fans.

How seriously can we take steroids in baseball? For every big name player that has been caught, there's probably five more who didn't. It's a shame that a man of Alex Rodriguez's ability and stature would risk his career, but he made the decision.

While I am a fan of A-Rod, he simply deserves all that comes to him.

In their defense, who are we, really, to judge?

Put yourself in A-Rod's shoes. If given the opportunity to improve your abilities, wouldn't most people take steroids to get a leg up on the competition? Be honest.

And as for Phelps, everyone's young once and do things they regret.

So before we go writing off these men as bad guys, let's think about how mortifying what they did really was, and cut them a break.