Phelps alleged drunk driving is a crime, not an 'indiscretion' [Letter]

Sportswriter Peter Schmuck suggests that Michael Phelps "could face public ridicule and lose a ton of sponsorship money for his latest indiscretion," as if this might be the most important result of his irresponsible actions ("Michael Phelps' arrest is last thing Baltimore needed," Sept. 30).

Why did Mr. Schmuck not address the irreparable damage that could have been inflicted on the families of any of the potential victims of Mr. Phelps' "indiscretion"?

For that matter, why did Mr. Schmuck even refer to Mr. Phelps' action as an "indiscretion" rather than what it really was — a criminal act?

Was it because that would not have been politically correct? Did he not want to puncture Mr. Phelps' status as a "hero"? And why wasn't Mr. Phelps taken to Baltimore's Central Booking and Intake for processing, as would any ordinary citizen?

There seems to be a propensity to make lame excuses for people's irresponsible and criminal acts, whatever they may be. People invoke the "I take full responsibility for my action" phrase as if that's all they have to do to exonerate themselves from any further punishment — which seemingly is never imposed.

Is it any wonder that so many of us lament the accelerating moral decline of our country?

Richard Paz

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