Is America Too Forgiving? The Case of Lance Armstrong
Do people who have acted objectively horribly in public life deserve a second chance, or does giving them a pass contribute to a decline in morality and standards that makes us all worse off?
We’re not talking about the extreme cases, like movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who was sentenced to 23 years in prison on rape and assault convictions. Or people who get canceled—often unfairly—because of random dumb tweets, online mobs, or years-old statements ripped out of context.
We’re talking about public figures like Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles in 2012 after getting caught using banned substances for basically his entire professional career and lying about it. Should we let him and others like him return to the public spotlight when they don’t really own their mistakes or try to repair the damage they’ve done to public trust and confidence? Armstrong is working his way back into the limelight as a podcaster and the face of WEDŪ, an online platform geared toward endurance athletes.
Anthropologist and brand consultant Grant McCracken says we’re too soft on people like Armstrong and our willingne
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