Wrongdoing In The Public Eye: A-Rod, Phelps, Associated Press

Wrongdoing In The Public Eye: A-Rod, Phelps, Associated Press
Francisco Hui
  • 12 february 2009

Amidst all that has happened recently with public figures and their wrongdoings, there might be something to take away from it all.

A-Rod has admitted to taking performance enhancing drugs, Michael Phelps has been photographed taking a bong hit, and the Associated Press is being sued by Shepard Fairey in a dispute over their Obama images.

There are clear “rights” and “wrongs”. These are the legal issues. Taking steroids is against MLB rules; smoking marijuana is against the law; whether the AP or Fairey is in the right will be determined in a court of law.

Then there’s public opinion of what’s right and wrong, which is arguably more important than what is technically allowed or not. This is based in large part in our perception of intentionality. Steroids are taken more seriously than marijuana in the public’s opinion. The rationale is that steroid distorts who A-Rod is as a baseball player, while smoking pot doesn’t change what Phelps accomplished in the Olympics.

With the AP and Fairey, it is a losing battle for the AP, since the public sees it as an organization attacking one man. Shepard was creating working for social and non-commercial purposes and the AP is seen as being an opportunist behemoth trying to cash in on his work.

The MLB will also have a difficult time regaining the public’s trust. While Fairey and the AP sort it out, Obama worries about the message A-Rod and the other baseball players are sending to kids.

What brands do in the public eye has its effects, and you can relate this to recent changes in Pepsi. Were people really reacting to the aesthetics or their quick-fix intentions? Athletes, like major corporations, have their own brand image to preserve. How they are perceived is not determined by the court and law, but, as we have previously discussed, by public opinion.

[image via ESPN Interview]


DIY Kit Lets You Build Your Own Wooden Bike, Boat Or Caravan

Design & Architecture
Culture Yesterday

Messaging Add-On Helps You Correct Your Friends’ Bad Grammar

An iMessage sticker pack will help you copyedit text messages

Automotive Yesterday

Mercedes-Benz Introduces A New Electric Mobility Brand

The separate entity aims to simplify the identification of Mercedes EV products to customers


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Work

See All
Mobile Yesterday

Tinder’s New Feature Makes Swiping A Group Effort

The dating app wants to democratize its gestural interaction by buying in to the social polling trend pervasive among millennials

Related Expert

Lucas Neumann

Fututre of Work, Work & Business, Design

Syndicated Yesterday

Autonomous Garbage Drone Prevents Trash From Reaching Deep Ocean

The solar-powered WasteShark collects refuse closer to the source: the harbor

Automotive Yesterday

Aston Martin Reveals Its Own Luxury Powerboat

The sleek AM37 echoes styling elements from the British brand's sports cars

Advertising Yesterday

An Escort Website Fights Violence Against Sex Workers

The advocacy campaign from McCann aims uncover the human toll of the exploitative industry


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed september 28, 2016

Energy Expert: How American Consumers Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Jennifer Tuohy, green tech expert at The Home Depot, discusses green home technologies and developments for renewable technologies in US homes

PSFK Labs september 29, 2016

The 10 Steps To Discover, Hire, Develop Your Next Leader

PSFK's Future of Work report outlines key steps in the employee development path to empower next-gen leaders

Culture Yesterday

LIFE Magazine Relaunches In Pure VR

The general interest periodical, which ceased publication in 2000, has turned into a portal for virtual reality content

Mobile Yesterday

Reorder This Detox Drink With A Simple Text Message

Dirty Lemon is streamlining its communication by letting customers place orders, ask product questions and request help exclusively through chat

Op-Ed Yesterday

The Future Of The American Workforce Requires Unbundling College Education

President of JetBlue Technology Ventures: developing corporate education programs for non-traditional students

Retail Yesterday

Gilt’s Pop-Up House Is The Kind Of Store You’ll Want To Live In

The New York City townhouse plays host to the latest in retail inspiration, curation, and lifestyle activation (and some libations, too)


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Mobile Yesterday

Registering To Vote Is Now Just A Text Away

A new bot aims to mobilize underrepresented groups this election season through SMS and Facebook Messenger

Africa Yesterday

Virtual Reality Game Gives Lessons About Emergency Birth Care

LIFE is a serious tool that takes advantage of new technology to help save lives

Luxury Yesterday

Shoe Repair Has Moved Onto Your Phone

Cobbler Concierge is an on-demand service to get your footwear fixed online

No search results found.