We do love a comeback story.
Case in point: an accomplished young cyclist overcomes three different cancers to become the greatest his sport has ever seen.
In August, Lance Armstrong dropped his appeal of performance-enhancing charges by the US Anti-Doping Agency.
This week, it got worse.
Longtime sponsor Nike severed ties with the (former?) champion after more than 15 years together.
He resigned as chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation (AKA: Livestrong), the non-profit cancer research fundraising group he launched in 1996. The Los Angeles Times has his complete statement here.
Here’s the scorecard:
- Armstrong raised $500 million for cancer research.
- Armstrong cheated at the sport that allowed him the platform to do these things.
Obviously, the drug-enabled success is dishonest at best, criminal at worst.
Are you willing to forgive cheating when it leads to so much good? Do the ends justify the means?
Is a little bit of bad that launches a revolution of good OK?
And can we ever forgive Armstrong for his steadfast competitive nature – to win at all costs?
We love comeback stories: Britney Spears, Chris Brown, Robert Downey, Jr., Vanessa Williams (remember her Penthouse spread?), Mickey Rourke, the list goes on. Celebrities who have flamed out, been shunned/banned/rehabbed for whatever reason return to prominence, sometimes even bigger than before.
So…is this the end for Lance Armstrong? Or a bump on the road? And what would a return look like?