- Posted January 16, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Lance Armstrong speaks out
The Livestrong Foundation versus Lance Armstrong
Armstrong was an American hero, a legend and someone that many aspiring young athletes found inspirational. With overwhelming evidence and an admission of guilt, athletes and sports fans everywhere are again left with the harsh reality that record breaking performances in sports may be the result of steroid use.
It is important to note that Lance Armstrong's steroid use has no relation to the mission of the Livestrong Foundation. A quick search on the Livestrong Foundation's website reveals that since the program was introduced, it has raised more than $470 million (as of 2011), 81% of which has gone to programs and services to help find problems and develop solutions for cancer.
This is what leads to a conflict of interest for Livestrong bracelet wearers. What is it we are supporting? The Foundation? Armstrong? Both? Some wear it as a fashion accessory. Others wear it because Lance was an inspiration, and it reminded them what hard work and dedication could lead to. Some where the bracelet because someone close to them is currently fighting cancer or has passed away because of cancer. Some may wear the bracelet for both reasons or another reason altogether.
Ultimately, the brand that Armstrong built, "Livestrong," will forever be tarnished. When someone sees a Livestrong bracelet, the first thought that floats through that person's mind is not going to be about a foundation that "fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer." The first thought will be the admitted steroid use of Lance Armstrong. It is possible that with time, America will grow to forgive Armstrong, as we are a nation of second chances. However, forgiveness does not mean we forget what happened. Even with forgiveness, the title "Livestrong" will never be the same because of Lance's steroid use.
Personally, I love with the Livestrong Foundation does. Talk to their employees. These are good, hard working people. I don't know if I can forgive Armstrong, but I do know that I would like to continue my support for the Livestrong foundation. For now, I'll be hanging up my bracelet. I'll wait to see what the Livestrong Foundation's next move is- to rebrand, or continue to move forward as is, before determining whether to bring the bracelet back.