Lance Armstrong is stepping down as chairman of his Livestrong charity, strong-armed out by the media. According to a statement posted by the group's website, he says:
I have had the great honor of serving as this foundation's chairman for the last five years and its mission and success are my top priorities. Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.
Within 10 minutes of this official announcement, Nike announced that it was terminating its contract with Lance Armstrong due to the insurmountable evidence that he may, in fact, have doped while racing. If it’s true, so much for cheaters never win.
Lance Armstrong is a sinking ship of doping scandal and no one wants to touch him with a 10-foot pole. It makes total sense that Nike would sever ties with him -- as an athlete. Thankfully, they have agreed to continue to support Livestrong.
It’s hard to separate Lance Armstrong, the man, from the athlete -- but it has to be done so as not to soil the good name of the Livestrong foundation, which has been more successful than anyone could have predicted. Personally, I think it's commendable that Armstrong is putting his charity above his own ego here.
I do think it's sad that he has been forced out by the media. Obviously if he was doping, that was cheating -- but what he's done for cancer research is above reproach.
Armstrong has used his celebrity status to raise close to $500 million for the Livestrong charity and to help improve the quality of life for countless cancer patients. I, honestly, don't see what the doping charges have to do with what Lance Armstrong is doing with Livestrong? If someone makes a mistake in life, does that condemn him or her to a lifetime unable to do good in the world? Where is the forgiveness and redemption? This is just one more casualty of the Lance Armstrong witch-hunt.
Do you think it's sad that Lance Armstrong was forced out of his leadership role with Livestrong?
Image via purchio/Flickr