Cannabis Culture Magazine Editor Marc Emery is encouraging all marijuana smokers to boycott Kellogg’s cereal company for dropping their sponsorship of Olympian Michael Phelps after he was caught on film smoking from a bong.
Michael Phelps is a 23-year-old swimmer who won eight Olympic medals (six gold, two bronze) for swimming competitions in 2004, and eight more Olympic GOLD medals in 2008, making him the most successful Olympic athlete in the 113-year history of the Olympic Games.
At the end of January, the News of the World published a photograph of Mr. Phelps hitting a ROOR bong at a party in South Carolina, and now cereal maker Kellogg Co. have dropped the world’s swimming Superman as a representative, claiming Phelp’s pot use is “not consistent with the image of Kellogg.”
I recommend that for 2009, marijuana smokers across the world boycott some or all Kellogg’s products in response to this clearly ignorant and prejudicial decision. (Click here to see the full array of Kellogg’s products.)
Historically, the Kellogg decision seems a little ironic. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was a rich eccentric who, along with the cereal company he founded in his name, ran a health farm call Wellville (in Battle Creek, Michigan, of course) for the wealthy. The members were put through a regime of extreme vegetarianism, laughing therapy and the purging the ‘polluted’ body by exercise; and sex, masturbation, and even sensual stimulation were forbidden. Members were forced to eat a vicious Spartan diet of Kellogg’s “Corn Flakes”, and subject to cleansing remedies including the use of laxatives, an anal yogurt cure, enemas, and brutal mechanical cleansing. In many ways Kellogg was insane, but hey, they still want you to eat his cereal!
A protest in front of the offices of USA Swimming in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is being organized by Mason Tvert and the activists at SAFER Colorado to address the suspension of Michael Phelps from competition in the USA for three months.
As to Phelps’ athletic worthiness, here is his daily regimen from jockbio.com,
His training regimen is grueling—two to five hours a day in the pool. He does minimal weightlifting; at this point flexibility and a feel for the water are more important to him.
The leg strength Michael added during his 2007 wrist-injury rehab was evident in Beijing on his powerful turns. In the races where he trailed, he made up an extraordinary amount of time pushing off the wall. That extra power in his kick also bought him the hundredth of a second edge he needed to come from behind in the 100-meter butterfly.
His physique notwithstanding, endurance may be Michael’s single greatest asset. He’s able to hold his stroke under pressure and when fatigue begins to creep in. From a mind over matter standpoint, Michael is also off the charts. His ability to relax, focus and block out the pain all at once is unique in his sport. He never seems nervous before a race, yet his intensity on the starting block is unmatched.
Relaxed indeed. The last line is a tribute to cannabis and its usefulness in sport, athleticism, and competition.
In early February, former Cannabis Culture Magazine editor Dana Larsen wrote for the respected Forbes.com about other athletes who have used cannabis. Championship wrestler Rob Van Dam also wrote extensively about the incredible usefulness of cannabis to extreme athletes in CC #69 (“Weed, Wrestling, and Athletic Enhancement”). Recently, Japanese Olympic power lifters, NFL football players and NBA basketball players have been penalized, charged, or reprimanded for their use of cannabis to improve performance.
Click here to go to the “Boycott Kellogg’s for Repudiating Michael Phelps” Facebook page.
Contact Kellogg’s and tell them you support Michael Phelps!
Kellogg’s main telephone number: 1-800-962-1413 or (269) 961-2000.
Kellogg’s contact page: http://www2.kelloggs.com/ContactUs.aspx
Kellogg’s Consumer Affairs: [email protected]
Kellogg’s corporate responsibility department: [email protected]
Kellogg’s investor relations department: [email protected]
Kellogg’s media relation department: (269) 961-3799 or [email protected]
Or write to Kellogg Company at:
One Kellogg Square
P.O. Box 3599
Battle Creek, MI 49016-3599
Phelps Suspended 3 Months, Dropped by Sponsor
by Associated Press
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (AP) — Michael Phelps was suspended from competition for three months by USA Swimming, the latest fallout from a photo that showed the Olympic great inhaling from a marijuana pipe.
The sport’s national governing body also cut off its financial support to Phelps for the same three-month period, effective Thursday.
“This is not a situation where any anti-doping rule was violated, but we decided to send a strong message to Michael because he disappointed so many people, particularly the hundreds of thousands of USA Swimming member kids who look up to him as a role model and a hero,” the Colorado Springs-based federation said in a statement.
“Michael has voluntarily accepted this reprimand and has committed to earn back our trust.”
Phelps won a record eight gold medals in Beijing and returned to America as one of the world’s most acclaimed athletes. Now he’s enduring a wave of bad news in the wake of the photo, published Sunday by News of the World, a British tabloid.
Earlier Thursday, cereal and snack maker Kellogg Co. announced it wouldn’t renew its sponsorship contract with Phelps, saying his behavior is “not consistent with the image of Kellogg.” The swimmer appeared on the company’s cereal boxes after his Olympic triumph.
USA Swimming provides a $1,750 monthly stipend to national team members to help defray travel and training expenses, plus performance bonuses. However, it’s a small percentage of the millions Phelps makes through endorsements.
“Michael accepts these decisions and understands their point of view,” said one of his agents, Drew Johnson. “He feels bad he let anyone down. He’s also encouraged by the thousands of comments he’s received from his fans and the support from his many sponsors. He intends to work hard to regain everyone’s trust.”
Phelps’ coach, Bob Bowman, said he believes Phelps will emerge from the experience a stronger swimmer and person.
“Michael’s been through a lot and he’s learned a lot, hopefully,” Bowman told The Associated Press during a telephone interview. “I support him and I want to see him do better. I’m here, as always, to try to help him move forward. He’s learned some tough lessons and he’s disappointed a lot of people, me included.”
Phelps has acknowledged “regrettable” behavior and “bad judgment.” He didn’t dispute the authenticity of the photo, reportedly taken at a house party while Phelps was visiting Columbia, S.C., in November during an extended break from training.
“I certainly understand USA Swimming needed to take action,” Bowman said. “We will certainly abide by everything they’ve put down.”
The 23-year-old has resumed training in his hometown of Baltimore, but his plans to return to competitive swimming will have to be put on hold. Phelps had planned to compete in early March at a Grand Prix meet in Austin, Texas.
Now, he won’t be able to compete until early May, which would give him a little more than two months for some racing before July’s world championships in Rome.
“This is the result of a poor decision Michael made,” U.S. Olympic Committee spokesman Darryl Seibel said in an e-mail. “He understands there is accountability and has pledged to not repeat this in the future. We have offered our assistance to make certain he is as consistent and successful away from the pool as he is in it, and we are confident that will happen.”
After the suspension, Phelps would be able to compete at a May meet in Charlotte, N.C.; there’s another Grand Prix competition in Santa Clara, Calif., the following month. The U.S. team for Rome will be chosen at the national championships, which begin July 7 in Indianapolis.
“He’s been very good in practice,” Bowman said. “I think he feels good to be back in the water. Certainly, he’s not in very good shape.
“We’re anxious to get back to a really normal routine and we have. We’re moving on.”
Several of Phelps’ Olympic teammates rallied to his defense. Among them was Dara Torres, the 41-year-old silver medalist whom Phelps jokingly referred to in Beijing as “Mom.”
“I see him as a kid trying to grow up in the most intense spotlight known to any athlete. He has apologized and what else can he do?” she told the AP by telephone. “The thing I hope is that people realize Michael is still a person and not just a swimming hero.”
Torres said she sent Phelps a text a few days ago to extend her support.
“He didn’t let the USA down at the games, so we shouldn’t let him down,” she said.
Torres doesn’t expect a three-month suspension in a non-Olympic year to have much affect on Phelps’ career. He intends to keep swimming through the 2012 London Games.
“Knowing Michael the way I do, I guarantee you it’s going to make him want to do well,” Torres said. “All this is going to do is light a fire under him.”
Amanda Beard compared Phelps’ ordeal to some of the disdain she faced after posing nude in Playboy magazine before the Beijing Games.
“If anyone knows public scrutiny, it’s me,” the four-time Olympian said in a text message. “When I posed for Playboy, so many officials looked down on me. Michael knows he isn’t a bad person. He made a mistake. People need to get over it. I want to cheer him on in London.”
Even a rival agent came to Phelps’ defense.
“Enough is enough,” said Evan Morgenstein, who represents a large number of Olympic swimmers. “The penalty is far greater than the crime. He has said he is sorry. Let’s move on to the real problems in this country.”
– Article form Sports Illustrated.