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Did Lance Armstrong’s apology do more harm than good? February 3, 2013

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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Cycling hero Lance Armstrong shocked the world when he decided to admit to Oprah Winfrey that he was guilty of using performance enhancing drugs throughout his career. While he had been stripped of many of his biggest wins, Armstrong had fought charges for many years – going so far as suing former friends who had spoken out against him.

Despite Armstrong’s attempt to come clean, many critics have argued that his apology failed miserably. As Fleet Fox of The Mirror stated, “Armstrong didn’t have the humanity or basic courage it would take to acknowledge the way his lawsuits, smears, abuse and general twat-piggery made the whole of human existence slightly worse than it needed to be. In fact, he barely managed to mutter a ‘sorry’ between gritted teeth before going on to boast about what a great liar he was and justify doping in sport as being no different to putting air in his tyres.” Journalists at many other media outlets were equally blown away by Armstrong’s defiance and arrogance. Slate‘s William Saletan contended, “That seems to be the game plan Armstrong brought to this interview. Downplay your power over others. Deny issuing explicit orders to dope. Convert any such story into a matter of setting a poor example.  Take responsibility for yourself, but suggest that others—those who claim you pressured them—must do the same. Recast your threats, retributions, and demands for silence as products of a hard life. Reduce your sins of coercion to a sin of deceit.”

For more on Armstrong’s apology, see the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  What did Armstrong hope to achieve with his apology?

2.  How did Armstrong’s apology fall short?

3.  Can Armstrong ever repair his image after admitting to having taken performance enhancing drugs? Why, or why not?

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