Michael Phelps has been on a tour of Brazil doing photo ops for the Olympic Committee and the Michael Phelps Foundation. Perhaps you saw the images of him a couple of days ago, “shirtless in a Speedo,” conducting a clinic in a slum neighborhood.
If the face of swimming, like almost everyone else’s, is averted from the widespread scandal of sexual abuse of girls in his sport — which now touches the Baltimore club where he got his start and which he now co-owns — then you can blame it on Rio, home of the 2016 Summer Games.
Except the Olympics are not just games. They’re a multibillion-dollar global industry, fronted by jocks and run off-camera by plutocrats in blazers. And as Balzac said, “behind every great fortune is a great crime.”
Let me try again, this time in Portuguese: Onde você está, Michael Phelps? Where are you on all this? Where do you stand on the cover-up of too many coaches’ sexual predation of athletes they supervise — often starting at a very young age, as in the case of the legendary Rick Curl, now facing long-overdue justice in Montgomery County, Maryland?
What can you tell us, Michael Phelps, about the quiet separation from your North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC) of its Hall of Fame founder, Murray Stephens?
What do you know, Michael Phelps, about the letter USA Swimming claims to have sent to the Baltimore County Police Department in 2010 — a letter the police say they can’t find, even though a year later they referred the matter to the Crime Against Children Unit and the Department of Social Services?
I’ve sent these questions to Phelps through both NBAC and his foundation. I’ll let y’all know if he gets back to me.