You tried to destroy the reputations of people who dared to speak truth to your multimillion-dollar power. You threw them into the costly, painful world of lawsuits, depositions and lawyers hungry to tear them apart. You forced them to spend big bucks to defend themselves for telling what you now admit was the truth about your doping. You left them twisting in the wind for years, and who knows what harm you did to their lives, families and finances.
I’m hoping that Oprah will get around to having some of your victims on her show. Let the world hear how your bullying and vindictiveness played out behind the scenes. Let their children come on the show and tell what it was like to have their parents publicly vilified.
Instead of inflicting your apologies on your many victims, you should give them as much cold, hard cash as you possibly can. Set aside some funds to take care of your own children and then go forth in sackcloth and ashes as you “process” the evil that you have done.
Oprah’s two-part interview with you made for riveting television. She did her homework and asked hard questions. She provided film clips that put your lies to investigators on public display. She showed your arrogance and jerkiness. She showed your vulnerability as a cancer patient and read a touching note from the mother of a leukemia victim who found inspiration and strength from your ordeal.
It was all about you, Lance. You had two-and-a-half hours on prime-time television to tell your tale of falling from the height of fame into the depths of shame. You seemed reasonably sincere and straightforward, although the film clips convinced me that I have no skill at spotting liars. You admitted you had doped in all of your seven Tour de France victories but insisted you were clean in your two comeback races. You denied a couple of bribe allegations. I suspect you were lying, but maybe not.
But again, the show was all about you, and I thought you came off as a sympathetic fallen hero. You didn’t overdo the guilt and remorse, and your pain over betraying your son’s trust seemed genuine. You acknowledged your self-interest and your hope you will be allowed to compete in sanctioned marathons and triathlons. I’m sure thousands of admirers will rally to the cause of forgiveness and redemption for Lance Armstrong.
I won’t be among them. I’m tired of the forgiveness game, Lance. You did wrong, and there’s no undoing it. Put some money on the line and expect nothing in return. Process what that means.