I found this over at the Velonews Mailbag this week. Seems pretty much on point. Thought I’d share.
Re: The Armstrong/Kimmage exchange
Speaking for myself as one of the many “around the world affected by (cancer),” (In my childhood, cancer claimed my father, and later on, my sister as well.) I hold nothing against Mr. Kimmage for his recent characterization of Mr. Armstrong, and I surely do not appreciate Mr. Armstrong assuming the authority to speak for me — especially with such intolerant, hateful words telling someone that they are “not worth the chair they are sitting on.”
Indeed, if even half of what has legitimately been alleged about Armstrong is true — the numerous firsthand accounts and sworn testimony of former teammates and associates, the undisputed test results, his conduct towards those who have spoken out about doping within cycling — then Kimmage’s metaphor (and that’s what it was, not any sort of insult to those affected by cancer) is appropriate, perhaps even understated.
Armstrong has never credibly addressed these charges, choosing instead to respond with public displays of hostility that have now descended to the level naked aggression with his brutal verbal assault on the very worth on another human being. However unwittingly, Armstrong makes Kimmage look like a prophet in alleging revenge as the motive for his comeback, since we have just seen the first score being settled.
At least in his exchange with Greg LeMond last September, Armstrong insisted that the press conference would not “go negative” since he meant to “talk about the global cancer campaign, the comeback to cycling, and the credibility in and around that.” At that point, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but any “credibility” he could have commanded is now gone, not only as a result of his treatment of Mr. Kimmage, but also his having reneged on a public promise to subject himself to “the most advanced anti-doping program in the world,” which would be conducted in a “completely independent” manner because “ultimately…we as fans must get back to enjoying the race and respecting the riders and their performances.” (Perhaps the drama of Armstrong’s press-conference “performance” is intended for the public’s viewing enjoyment.)
This time, he did not even try to conceal his contempt, which he had the gall to wrap in self-righteous outrage on behalf of those he professes to represent and care about, but whom he is all too willing to exploit for advantage in his personal feuds. Such conduct is beyond the pale from a public spokesperson (even a self-appointed one) for any sort of worthy cause, and it lays bare the dark forces at work in this man – forces that may now be said to constitute an ugly blight not just upon cycling, but the fight against cancer itself.
Olmsted Falls, Ohio