Today on the boulevard I saw a white couple, clearly tourists. What struck me was that the man, my age, was rocking a Livestrong T-shirt. After everything that’s happened regarding Armstrong, the fact that this man did what he did taught me something I regard as valuable. He wasn’t concerned as much about Armstrong as he was the cause itself.
Friends, that is the semiotics of the T-shirt—it speaks to what one word can pronounce, even after its originator did so much to scar it through lying.
This of course becomes the problem, doesn’t it? Through all those years of lies, Armstrong wound up 1) undermining the Livestrong movement he worked to develop; and 2) undermining world cycling. Think of this: 7 years simply stripped from the record books. Had that happened in NASCAR, for ex., there’d have been a quite different outcome. Second place becomes the winner. (OK, let’s also acknowledge Wendell Scott, who deserved his trophy in victory lane but was denied it on the basis of race) But as for Armstrong, his choices have wrought terrible harm, not only on the sport but the larger culture. Seven years, by the way, of Tour finishes wiped from the map. I have no idea how the governing body actually deals with that. More to follow.