Agree To Disagree With ESPN.com LZ Granderson In His Piece "Did Lance Armstrong cheat? I don't care"

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(Joel Saget / AFP/Getty Images / July 21, 2005)

In a timely article by LZ Granderson, Did Lance Armstrong cheat? I don't care, at ESPN.com, Granderson discusses his feelings on how he truly does not care if Lance Armstrong was an illegal performance-enhancement practitioner. Albeit with a warning that teenagers should not be allowed to read his piece until they are older. Included in this group of non-readers is his son, as he has made it a point to always teach his son "to seek the truth" as he states, "I've always taught him that truth is important."

I most certainly do not take issue with his teachings to his son. On the contrary, I find this not only to be admirable and commendable but wish that all parents placed that kind of importance on the truth. I also do not take issue with the support he gives (as would I) to the fine work, money donated and/or earned, and support Lance Armstrong gives in the battle against cancer through his foundation LIVESTRONG. Actually, I don't think too many could argue with that.

However, there is something I do CARE about. A piece reflective in Granderson's statement below:

"Should Armstrong be recast from his starring role as cancer survivor and seven-time Tour de France winner to that of villainous cheat, I'll still pull for him to succeed in the work that he's doing and feel good about the show."

Oh yes, I too will pull for Lance Armstrong "to succeed in the work that he's doing" regarding cancer...but if (and it is only an "if" at this point) he did practice illegal performance-enhancement, then I am afraid, at least in my mind, this puts into serious doubt how much "he" really did win as a bike racer. (This is, of course, with the assumption that any illegal performance-enhancement was used to augment his bike racing capabilities and not to bring him back to normalcy after battling testicular cancer - a huge difference in my book.)

To me, these are two separate issues - battling cancer and multiple wins of the Tour de France. On the one hand you have an individual who has shown a tremendous amount of fortitude in making a positive difference for many, and for society as a whole, and on the other hand if the allegations prove to be true, you have a "cheater" no different than the others (Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Brian Cushing, Marion Jones, etc.).

It is not that I don't believe cheating in one area of life doesn't affect other aspects of one's life. On the contrary, I believe that it does and can, ultimately and exponentially, increase the odds of "bad" things happening to an individual due to its corrosive effect on one's character. (You need only look at Tiger Woods to see that possibility).

However, a good deed is still a GOOD DEED, and with few exceptions to how it comes about or who it comes from, if it betters society and helps people, it is still a good thing!!!

Great piece LZ, but the jury is still out on how many bike races, and Tour de France races, Lance Armstrong really won. Hopefully, when the truth comes out, the answer will be all of them.

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