He admitted it and cancer still does not care….

Before I went to bed on Monday night, I browsed my Twitter timeline to see what was happening in the world of the people I follow. While browsing, I begin to notice tweets about ESPN anchor, Stuart Scott. I found out, unfortunately, that he is battling cancer for the third time. I immediately begin pray for Scott, his family and his friends. Yesterday morning, I tweeted Scott a picture of us taken a few years ago at UNC’s Late Night with Roy. Scott in his blue and I in my red. Along with the picture, I tweeted well wishes and my favorite Bible scripture, Luke 1:37. I ended my tweet with the word #LIVESTRONG


Sad. Disappointed. Frustrated. I wanted it to not be true. Confused. Deceived. Relieved. We now know the truth. Lance Armstrong was using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) during the time that he won seven straight Tour de France titles. In an interview scheduled to air on Thursday night, Armstrong will admit to Oprah Winfrey and the world that he lied for years. Undoubtedly, Winfrey will ask why and we may or may not get a straight answer. There are a lot of questions that can and need to be asked but it may not make a difference to most.

In a sport where doping is normal, many will fail to understand why Armstrong did what he did. I would assume he did it to give himself a better chance of winning. I would assume he kept doing it because “everyone else was.” I would assume he kept doing it because the more he kept winning the more endorsements and exposure for his charity. Maybe I am wrong but I doubt it.

Back in October when I wrote about him, I supported him 100%. At the time, naive as it may sound, I still wanted to believe that he was telling the truth. He had done so much good that I wanted him to be an “hero.” Back in October my stance was that regardless if he did it or not, the man had raised over 500 million dollars for cancer awareness and research. Back in October, I did not want hear what I heard this week.


Sad. Sad that he doped. Disappointed. Disappointed that he felt the need to lie about it for so long. Frustrated. Frustrated because what he did wrong actually helped churn out a lot of good. Confused. Confused about steroid use, in general. Deceived. Armstrong owed it to his supporters to come clean years ago. Relieved. Breathing a sigh of relief knowing that the initial witch hunt is over.

Now what? To completely dismiss Armstrong means you dismiss what the LIVESTRONG movement means to so many. Yes he lied. Yes he was wrong. Yes he has made his supporters look foolish. And yes there is a good chance that the LIVESTRONG foundation would not be the global force that it is today if Armstrong had not taken PEDs. Did the end justify the means? In the world of public opinion, probably not. In the world of cycling, yes. It was the norm. Maybe Armstrong could have accomplished the same feat without the use of PEDs. Maybe the will to accomplish all these things was inside of him the whole time. Maybe, just maybe, he could have had am bigger impact on the world if he had not used PEDs.

What we do know is that a man who “cheated” to gain an advantage in his sport also gave a lot of people hope. They saw he beat cancer and felt they could to. With one single accessory, Armstrong changed a whole world and made it easy to identify all those who were in the fight, literally and figuratively, against cancer. Is that something we just forget because of what he did?

Before he even asks, I accept his apology. I will never understand why he did what he did nor will I try to. I commend him for finally allowing himself to be freed from that dark place. He could have easily, without any positive tests, taken this lie to his grave but he has chosen to admit his mistakes and face whatever consequences are waiting for him on the other side. Often I remind others that none of us are perfect. We all have our skeletons. We all make mistakes. The true test is in how we respond to those mistakes. Do we let the mistakes consume us? Do we crawl into a corner and wither away? Or do we put on our boxing gloves, get into the ring and fight until the end? I look forward to seeing how Lance Armstrong responds in this heavyweight bout.

Now that he has come clean, going forward there is only one acceptable way for Lance Armstrong to respond…..LIVESTRONG Lance. LIVESTRONG.


Cancer does not care if he did it or not…

He said. She said. They said. The dog said. Enough already. Sheesh. I am so over this whole Lance Armstrong saga I could scream. Oh wait, I did that earlier.

Moving right along. Yesterday morning, I was stunned to hear that Armstrong was stepping down as chairman of the Lance Armstrong(Livestrong)foundation, the foundation he started in 1997 to help those affected by cancer. Even, the public relations major in me was surprised. 45 minutes later, I was stunned again when I learned that Nike had terminated its contract with Armstrong. Initially, I thought that meant they were cutting funding to Livestrong as well but I found out that is not the case. Nevertheless, I was stunned. Just a couple of months ago, after the Untied State Anti-Doping Agency(USADA) hit Armstrong with a lifetime ban and recommended that the be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, Nike firmly stood their ground and reaffirmed their commitment to Armstrong. And then the bomb dropped last Wednesday. That was the day the USADA released a 1,000 plus page document that details the elaborate doping scheme Armstrong was allegedly the ringleader of. Even my mouth dropped open on this one. I have been very staunch on my stance that Armstrong has never failed a test. However, in this era of steroids and performance enhancing drugs(PEDs), that is not very hard to do. Ever heard of “The Clear?” I do find it hard to believe that there are this many people who would conspire against Armstrong and tell blatant lies. At the same time, like I said, he has not failed a test. Who knows what to believe?!

What I do know for sure is that the same man who is being accused of this elaborate scheme is the same man who started a foundation that has raised over $500 million dollars for cancer research and awareness. Let me repeat that, FIVE HUNDRED MILLION. Look, if Armstrong did what they are accusing him of then he deserves to be banned. If there are consequences he has to suffer, then so be it. He does not get a pat on the back just because of his philanthropy. However,he does not deserve and most importantly, what those battling cancer do not deserve is to have Livestrong grouped into this mess. Regardless of how he established the platform to do it, the fact of the matter is that this man has literally revolutionized this world when it comes to cancer. Before 1997, cancer, in my opinion, was pretty taboo. I knew about it because my grandma had battled it but as a 16 year old, I did not really grasp the magnitude of this disease. Armstrong used the platform that he had at the time to shed light on this terrible disease and he did it in one of the simplest forms, he created a silicon gel bracelet. Who could have imagined that in 2004 when the Livestrong bracelet was introduced that it would literally become an international movement? I can distinctly recall going to numerous stores trying to find one only to be told over and over that they were sold out. The Livestrong craze was insane and eight years later, that tiny yellow bracelet is still an international phenomenon. This simple accessory has allowed people to connect in a way that does  not even require you having a conversation about why they are wearing it.

For some, it is hard to separate the allegations from the charity. Armstrong typically rode in cycling gear outfitted with the words Livestrong. His gear was yellow, the main color of his foundation. Cycling, Armstrong and Livestrong go hand in hand. Until the bottom dropped out. It was not until the allegations surfaced that I think people really begin to separate one from the other. Yes, Armstrong started Livestrong but this foundation is much bigger than him and that is what I think is getting lost in this saga. There is a reason he stepped down. He knew the foundation was bigger than him. He knows Livestrong is about the mother who was told she only has six months to live. He knows Livestrong is about the four year old who has been battling cancer since he was two. He knows Livestrong is about the 65 year old grandmother who has been told she has breast cancer. Those people are who the foundation is about. Armstrong was the driving force behind what is now a bigger movement. And no matter what he said, she said, they said or the dog said, I will continue to wear my LIVESTRONG bracelet proudly. After all, it is not about me either.