Kellogg’s was the first brand to “drop” Michael Phelps (even though Kellogg’s was probably not going to re-sign him due to financial constraints anyway) from its roster of endorsers, but now it appears that Subway is about to follow suit. All references to Phelps, who signed an endorsement deal with the sandwich giant in November, have been removed from Subway’s website.
(photo by BUZZ NEWSROOM)
It’s too bad, since cereal and sandwiches fit right in with Phelps’ new-found stoner persona. Subway is reportedly so mad, that they are pursuing ways to actually get back the money they’ve already paid to Phelps. The sandwich company’s web artists sent a heads-up to BUZZ NEWSROOM that they were instructed to de-link him from their site:
Confidentially, the Subway webteam gave us the heads up — Michael Phelps has been remmed out, de-linked, due to his recent one toke over the line. Other Subway “celebrity friends” are still listed, like Jared, Ryan Howard and Reggie Bush — but they have been told to officially de-link all references featuring Michael.
Subway has made no official statement on the matter, but anything Phelps-related is nowhere to be found.
This latest setback follows USA Swimming’s three-month suspension of Phelps. Which means, uh, I guess he can’t participate in any Olympics that may be happening before April. Darren Rovell of CNBC says the suspension is ridiculous, not just because it doesn’t really punish him, but also because it would never hold up to a legal challenge:
No matter what your “Code of Conduct” says, you can’t suspend an athlete for behavior caught in a photo.
Although Phelps has taken this suspension in stride publicly, the truth is that USA Swimming knows that it would lose a legal fight with Team Phelps if it tried to suspend him into the summer for the World Championships.
You think any league with a collective bargaining agreement, and a union to go up against, would ever try to pull what USA Swimming did on Phelps? I think not.
It’s funny how wildly inconsistent the reaction has been to all of this. Subway has a right to be upset, but it seems like they’re treating this as if he raped someone or killed some dogs. Just release a statement reprimanding his behavior and move on. No need to be plotting some sort of lawsuit over this.