They rolled in. At a pace that mortals should not be able...
Lance Armstrong and His Billion Dollar Tapestry of Lies
“A forger of lies is a physician of no value.” – Job 13:4
Today, 1 in 4 children live in poverty. They get ready for school and set out to dodge gang warfare — hungry ,but surviving. When they concede, they find a safety net in the gang life — lose sight of transcending their position and fall deeper into the life of drugs, prostitution and firearms.
Today, Lance Armstrong wakes up in his Malibu penthouse overlooking the sprite of sunshine bursting from the blue of the bikini spread waves. He’s wearing Prada and eating the best of organic food, fueling his suntanned physique. He’s safe and warm and full of wellness, having defeated cancer with a will unparalleled by many.
Seven-time Tour de France champion.
King of the “Livestrong” bracelet, a national emblem of hope.
But he’s a liar.
And while I’m the first to practice the art of forgiveness, even I am losing my love in lieu of Lance’s other-Lance – the Lance who forced the members of his famed cycling team to dope if they wished to stay employed. And that just pisses me off.
If you ever saw the Denzel Washington-led film, American Gangster, you probably saw what a man of complexion looks like. Washington played the famed Frank Lucas — former cocaine kingpin of New York City — former inner city philanthropist, funding small businesses and turkey feeds. Lucas was a dicatator with a kind heart buried beneath brutality. He was a charitable-murderer.
Lance Armstrong is not a murderer. Don’t go that far. But he is a lying-philanthropist. And though he’s done great things — raised a billion dollars for cancer patients since 1998 — he is also the man who force-fed drugs down his employees’ mouths and covered over his lie with a blatant disrespect for his fans.
And now that his former employees are coming out one by one, admitting to Armstrong’s shady business, he stubbornly denies use of steroidal drugs. At least Lucas came clean. And though he lost an entire kingdom in the wake of his words of honesty, he relinquished, at least partly, the wrongs that swallowed his rights.
Armstrong is becoming the Pete Rose of cycling and that is just sad. Who would of thought a billion dollars would fade far into the background of such an abstract life-painting?
His seven championships and billion dollar project of hope mean less and less as the reports continue to come out. Because a man is measured by his integrity, not by words or his money, because everyone — whether wrong or right, holy or hateful – will rot in a box in the bottom of the earth, so will Armstrong – billion dollars, good deeds and all.