Nike Bails on Lance Armstrong - Should Donors and Fans Follow Suit?

Nike Bails on Lance Armstrong - Should Donors and Fans Follow Suit?

For Lance Armstrong it keeps getting worse.

News this morning that Nike has terminated it's contract with Armstrong  came minutes after Armstrong announced he is resigning as chairman of his Livestrong cancer charity, though he will remain on the board.

In addition to their statement, Nike also said it will remove Armstrong's name from their Lance Armstrong Fitness Center, citing "insurmountable evidence" that he participated in doping and misled the company about it for over a decade.

In his own statement, Armstrong said he stepped down from Livestrong in order to "spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career."

You may recall that Nike acted quickly last July to remove Joe Paterno's name  from its child care center following the Freeh report, which detailed Paterno's involvement in the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal.

In terms of cutting ties, Nike stands by their motto - Just do it.

In terms of Lance Armstrong, the legacy is conflicted.

Here's what I know:

Lance Armstrong was a dirty cyclist in the dirtiest of sports.  There's no disputing that.

There's also no disputing the good work of Livestrong.

Lance Armstrong heroically beat cancer, became a cycling legend and then used fame and influence through his foundation to raise over $400 million for cancer research.

Without doping, Lance Armstrong would likely have retired from cycling after beating cancer, a run of the mill cyclist at best.  A heroic cancer survivor without fame, money, and the opportunity to do good work on a grand stage.

By doping he became Barry Bonds in cycling suit; a giant in his sport who refuses to acknowledge the fraud.

We bought into the fantasy that both athletes could suddenly put up eye popping stats strictly due to diet and exercise; in Armstrong's case, incredibly, after nearly dying.

We are a society forever seeking heroes.  I hope donors continue the fight against cancer, for the real heroes, with or without Lance Armstrong.

Should donors bail on Lance Armstrong's foundation?  What is his legacy?  I would enjoy hearing from you and hope you will like us on facebook.

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