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Vote: Is Lance Armstrong still an American hero?

October 17, 2012|RedEye | RedEye

It's been a hard fall for Lance Armstrong. The cyclist was accused of a massive doping conspiracy last week, stepped down as Livestrong foundation chairman and lost Nike as a sponsor.

This round: Is Lance Armstrong still an American hero?

YES

Rarely if ever do athletes live up to the persona we create for them. What we found behind Armstrong's curtain was a lot worse than a guy who cheats on his wife or skips church services. Armstrong cheated, lied and continued to lie once he got caught. For that, he deserves to be stripped of all his cycling accolades. That said, there's no denying the positive impact he's had on millions of people suffering from cancer. $500 million in Livestrong's 15 years has done a lot of good—even if the man responsible for it proved to be deplorable. For that and only that, Armstrong remains a hero.

—Matt Lindner (mlindner@tribune.com, @mattlindner)

NO

If you play sports when you're little, you hear a lot of things growing up, like "Cheaters never win." Then you get older and find out those who play fair end up getting screwed. Lance Armstrong knew his juicing was against the rules, did it anyway, then looked you in the face and said "Just Do It." That's not how I want my American heroes to behave. You want a hero? Look up to people who accomplish things despite their financial status and shine the spotlight on them. What Armstrong did for cancer research shouldn't be ignored, but as far as icon status? Sorry homie, you lost.

—Ernest Wilkins (erwilkins@tribune.com, @ernestwilkins)


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