So, I’ve watched the two Lance Armstrong interviews on Oprah Winfrey and spent a few minutes judging reaction across the ‘net.
I’ve tried to figure out exactly how I feel and I tried to watch it with a completely open mind. I went into those two interview airings angry. This man that I looked up to had betrayed me and millions of others, and he had lied and bullied at lengths almost impossible to measure. In interviews. In depositions. In conversations with even his family.
Two of the things I hate most are lying and bullying.
Lance Armstrong did both and he made tens of millions doing it. And now caught, and much humbled, he planned to come on TV, do a tell all, and ask forgiveness.
I, a fan, hoped to give it to him. But I can’t. He really never even came close to having me.
Lying is bad enough, but I hate a bully. I was bullied in school and living with that constant fear back then cost me untold hours of sleep, and who knows how much stress and pain. I’ve seen bullies destroy people’s lives and I’ve made a career of trying to stand up to them. It’s why I became obsessed with martial arts for twenty-plus years — I wanted to use my confidence and ability to protect those who were weaker. It’s partly why I started a newspaper at great personal and financial cost.
So I knew going into those interviews that it would be hard for me to forgive him, much less ever believe in him again. And after watching them, I remain practically unchanged.
And then I read this…
Lance Armstrong, uber-convicted liar, likely lied to Oprah. (See story here.)
“That’s the only thing in this whole report that upset me,” Armstrong said during the interview. “The accusation and alleged proof that they said I doped [in 2009] is not true. The last time I crossed the line, that line was 2005.”
“You did not do a blood transfusion in 2009?” Winfrey asked.
“No, 2009 and 2010 absolutely not,” Armstrong said.
Investigators familiar with the case disagree. They said today that Armstrong’s blood values at the 2009 race showed clear blood manipulation consistent with two transfusions. Armstrong’s red blood cell count suddenly went up at these points, even though the number of baby red blood cells did not.
Investigators said this was proof that he received a transfusion of mature red blood cells.
Why would he lie to Oprah? Oh, this is rich… Here’s why: “If Armstrong lied about the 2009 race, it could be to protect himself criminally, investigators said.“
Well, I’m sorry, Lance. I don’t like liars — see point above, and I’m not a real fan of cowards.
Lance is worried about the statute of limitations and whether he may be prosecuted… Doing drugs by the barrel in 2005? Not a problem. Doing drugs in 2009? Big f’in problem.
But I hear you out there. You want to give him a pass. Hey, who wants to go to prison? Or have a record and be on probation, right?
Okay, I’ll let that slide a bit. It’s not how I’d roll, but I get it. I’m different.
Let me present a second piece of evidence…
Here’s how Lance apologized to one of his strongest supporters of 14 years:
Riles, I’m sorry.
All I can say for now but also the most heartfelt thing too. Two very important words.
I mean, you can’t make this stuff up. Three sentences? An email, at that?
No phone call. No passionate begging of forgiveness. No tears. No flowers. No standing in the rain on your knees, knocking on a door you know will never be opened.
Nope, Lance fired off an “email,” if you can call it that, to one of his strongest supporters and expected said supporter (who severely damaged his career) to forgive.
Believe me, you absolutely have to read this column from one of his strongest media reporters who isn’t at ALL ready to forgive him. It’s all about the lies — By Rick Reilly.
Rick Reilly knows Lance better than we ever will, and he certainly knows the situation better than any of us cold dream of.
And yet… Rick Reilly is nowhere near ready to forgive Lance, and it’s this position that cements mine, as well.
Rick Reilly isn’t ready to forgive Lance Armstrong and I’m certainly not either.
Stan R. Mitchell
Oak Ridge, Tenn.
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P.P.S. Thanks to all who continue to make my novels a success. I seriously couldn’t have done it with everyone’s support. I’m excited to say that Little Man, and the Dixon County War has gone as high as No. 16 on the Amazon UK Paid List (see here and here). My second novel, Sold Out, has also done well, going as high as No. 81 on the Amazon Paid List for the category of War (see here and here). Learn more about both books here.