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The day after winning the Golden Goggles Award for Male Athlete of the Year, Michael Phelps experienced a much less exciting activity -- jury duty. He reported to Baltimore for his civic duty on Thursday.
The 22-time Olympic medalist reportedly did not go unnoticed. Fellow prospective jurors and courtroom staff were impressed by the long time Maryland native. They asked him to pose for pictures. Even police were pulling out their cell phones to catch a moment with him, though phones are supposed to be off in courtrooms. He was taken to a more private room, much as he did on the pool deck before races, Phelps listened to headphones while waiting around. He never did get called.
A court spokeswoman pointed out that celebrities are not exempt from jury duty. While it's a nice idea that everyone should serve the judicial system, it's also not the best idea to keep the wheels of justice turning. If Phelps had been put on a jury, could you imagine the fuss? It's not like he could hide his 6-foot-4 frame in the back of courtroom. If the attorneys and judge and defendants spend more time paying attention to Phelps than the case, somebody's rights will end up trampled. Or swam over.