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Response to CNN Article: Michael Phelps as Flag Bearer

Updated on August 8, 2016

USA Olympic Pride

I recently read a CNN article by W. Kamau Bell about Michael Phelps carrying the flag at Olympic ceremonies in RIO and I was appalled at what I read. The man who wrote it is obviously a racist judging from the comment that he made at the end of the article about Michael Phelps being just another “rich white guy” hogging the spotlight. He may be rich now but he started out just like any other athlete with a dream of making it big. He is also no less deserving of the honor of flag bearer because of his skin color.

He has never marched in the opening ceremonies before and why should he give up something that the athletes themselves voted him in to do. He has the right to live his dreams just like anyone else does. No one, including W. Kamau Bell, has the right to decide that he doesn’t. He is an American first just like we all are. Thank you Mr. Bell for taking the Olympic Games which are the very symbol of world unity and turning it into racist political crap!

Every athlete that makes it to the Olympic Games has to work very hard to get there. To say to any athlete that their achievements aren’t that big of a deal is unfair and a slap in the face. I don’t know much about Ibtihaj Muhammad but I do know that here athletic achievements are not as outstanding as Michael Phelps which is probably why they chose him over her in the first place. I would also like to know why her being a Muslim would weigh in her favor in that role as Kamau Bell suggests. I was unaware that religion played any role in athletic achievement or the Olympic Games for that matter.

I watched Michael Phelps win his 19th gold medal tonight and he won it in the 4x100 relay by being part of a team. I think the keyword here is ‘TEAM.’ He didn’t do it by being just another “rich white guy” hogging the spotlight. He worked together with three other guys to make that happen. Being a Muslim, a Christian or any other religion is only that, a religion. Being an American is first and foremost and it trumps all when it comes to having pride for the American Olympic team. Those athletes competing in RIO are all part of the same team and we are part of that team. We as American citizens should be proud of each and every one of them equally!

I have no idea where this man’s sense of pride for his country is or if he even has any. I know that when I watch our athletes compete and do well I feel such a sense of pride for all of them! I don’t care what color or religion they are and I would hope that every other American in this country feels the same way. Each one of those athletes deserves to celebrate every victory they get whether it is big or it is small. It is a big deal to them because they had to work very hard for it.

I don’t know much about W. Kamau Bell or what he does but I think that he should be very ashamed of himself for using our American Olympic athletes for his own racist political garbage! It has no place in the Olympics. I am thoroughly disgusted with CNN for posting it. As a proud American I am personally offended by this. It is UN-American as this man clearly is.


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