Say it ain’t so.
By now, the Lance Armstrong doping scandal is a few weeks in the past. He confessed to Oprah Winfrey he had done what he’d been accused of for over a decade — taking performance enhancing drugs to fuel his seven wins in the Tour de France.
Armstrong denied the accusations repeatedly, win after win and year after year.
And it was just so easy to believe he was the perfect athlete, one who’d struggled through cancer to beat the odds and come back to win it all — seven times.
With his fame and fortune, he started a massive foundation, LIVESTRONG, for people with and surviving cancer to cope and regain strength.
So, no, he’s not a bad guy.
He did still defeat cancer multiple times and helped countless people through his foundation.
But he is just another disappointment in the realm of professional athletes.
I don’t care he doped for seven major races — I’m sure he wasn’t the only one partaking in the festivities. He just did it better than everyone else, apparently.
I’m just disgusted at how far our athletes go — the fraudulent stories, the countless denials and then the web of lies just unravels. What we suspected, but hoped was wrong, comes true.
Maybe it is just a matter our sports-loving nation must come to recognize — our athletes are anything but infallible.
In the recent past, the child abuse scandal at Pennsylvania State University rocked the nation. Former Penn. State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky horri”ed everyone when allegations that he’d sexually abused young boys came out and were true. Penn. State football coach and legend Joe Paterno was found to have covered it up.
We all recall when golfer Tiger Woods fell from his pedestal because of his affairs — the mistress count was in the double digits. Before that, he was the image of perfection with a gorgeous Swedish wife, two beautiful children and a golf record that spoke for itself.
Around that time, NFL quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was in the middle of sexual assault allegations.
Before that, it was NFL player Michael Vick who was charged with running a dogfighting operation.
Before that, it was NFL player O.J. Simpson who was tried in court for killing his ex-wife and her friend, but later went to prison on robbery and weapons charges.
Before that, heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was charged with rape.
Oh, the people we have looked up to.
Just because they have outstanding athletic ability certainly doesn’t qualify them to be our role models.
Our role models don’t need to have set outstanding records or have the ability to throw a perfect spiral pass. They don’t need to wear a logo and advertise Gatorade.
They can be the woman down the street who checks in on the elderly neighbor everyday.
They can be our doctors and nurses, our firefighters and police offcers, our teachers and principals.
Because those people usually have others’ best interests in mind. They contribute to the common good and personify the golden rule much more than some of our athletes do.