Does One Mistake Really Erase All of the Good?

FALL FROM GRACE.  These are the three words being used to depict the athlete Lance Armstrong and all that he accomplished throughout his entire career.  Of course we all know that Lance Armstrong has just recently had his seven Tour de France titles stripped away after being found guilty of “doping” during his career and those races.  On top of that he also had major endorsement deals that rescinded their offers due to the controversy.

Now I don’t know whether or not Lance Armstrong is in fact guilty of doping in order to win all of those races that he won or is this just a witch hunt that they are on and pinning the bulk of the blame on him.  Frankly I don’t really care if he did or didn’t because in my eyes what they are doing to him and to his name is a disgrace.  Stripping him of his titles doesn’t change the fact that he did win those races and I don’t know too many people who could have done what he did, on or off drugs.

What is really a shame is that in order to punish him for a mistake that they have absolutely no real tangible proof that he did (only hearsay by his so called ex-teammates and results from blood work that could very easily have been medication from his cancer treatment) they have tainted his name along with all of the good that he has done.  His foundation, the Live Strong Foundation does good work for cancer research and it also goes to great lengths to provide free services to help anyone who is affected by cancer and cannot monetarily take care of those responsibilities, and recently he was forced to appoint someone else as the head of it in order to preserve its integrity.

There are a lot of people who are angry about this and disgusted with Lance Armstrong but let me tell you why I am not one of them.  It is because we are all human and we do not have the right to pass personal judgments on anyone else not knowing what they live through on a daily basis.  I’m not naïve to think that Lance might not have doped up in the latter part of his racing career but I certainly don’t believe that he did in the beginning.  What does stripping him of his titles do, really?  He knows he still won them.  The world knows that he still won them.  When they talk about stripping his titles in the news they still refer to him as the one who won 7 Tour de France races.

What it does do is send a message to others, especially the children of the future, that if you dare to make one mistake, that suddenly means that all the good that you did do means nothing now.  Is that really what we want to communicate to people?  That if, God forbid, you mess up in your life that you don’t deserve another chance and that you have to be beat down for your mistake continuously.

We make mistakes in life.  We do things that we once said we would never ever do in a million years.  People don’t just wake up with the idea of doing something morally and ethically wrong.  People don’t intentionally set out to make their lives a circus.  People do expect that if they make a mistake that it will not erase every good thing about them.  You expect to be given second chances and you expect to not be deemed a bad person simply because you made an error in judgment.  What ever happened to forgiveness and understanding?  How are we supposed to ever learn from the mistakes that we make if no one will ever let us forget them?


Jimmetta Carpenter


The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”


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