Wednesday, January 16, 2013

When will athletes learn to just tell the truth??

This week has been filled with lots of twists and turns, and as a sports fan, I’m trying to process everything. I’m still in shock! From Lance Armstrong finally admitting to doping in cycling to Manti Te'o making up the story about his dead girlfriend, the last three days has been filled with stories of how we can’t trust athletes. Not only have we seen cheating in sports, but the ethical behavior by these two athletes is extremely disconcerting.

As many of you have read and heard, Armstrong for 13 years has been denying that he ever doped. His teammates would come forward and Armstrong fought back saying they were vindictive, lying and he spread rumors about them. Armstrong knowingly spread lies, which is slander, and I hope he gets sued and loses all of his money. It’s one thing to cheat, but to ruin peoples’ lives because they were trying to be ethical and tell the truth is just plain wrong. I could have forgiven him at some point for doping, but I won’t forgive him for this.

There are some who say that he raised more than $400 million for cancer and because of this they will forgive him. Is this the right message we should send to our children and future athletes. Is it okay for you to cheat, lie and defame others if you raise millions for cancer or another cause, so you can be forgiven. I’m all about cancer research and finding a cure. I lost my mom almost 23 years ago to cancer, had family members with breast cancer, friends with lung cancer, and relatives fighting other forms of cancer.

I’m truly sad for those that work for Live Strong because they are fighting for something that sucks and doing some incredible work. But, it’s brand is damaged because of Armstrong’s selfish acts. Will the brand recover? I hope so because the organization is raising awareness about this horrible disease. Armstrong should walk away because that will be the only way it will recover.

Then, we have a great story with Manti Te'o losing his girlfriend and grandmother within the same year. But, today, we learned that the girlfriend was completely made up. Seriously? As a college football fan, I’m truly saddened that he had to make up this story. Losing your grandmother is a sad story and people would sympathize with you, but you had to add a made-up girlfriend?

Where are your ethics? You seriously should have thought about the consequences of lying to the public and to the children who looked up to you. You had a great season at Norte Dame, and now your season is forever tarnished. Now, parents, aunts and uncles have to explain that another sports figure didn’t tell the truth. You really need to think about the unintended consequences before committing any of these actions.

When will this unethical behavior end? We’ve seen it with Tiger, Kobe, A-Rod, Clemons, and Barry Bonds to name a few. We all know that cheating in some form happens all the time, but when you are confronted about it, you lie and try to cover it up. If you come out and tell the truth, people will forgive you after awhile.
But, how are we, as sports fans, supposed to explain to youth that you screwed up. These kids admire your ability as an athlete and aspire to become you. Then, you decide to throw it all away by cheating, lying and defaming others.

I’m baffled by athletes, politicians, and others who think that you will never get caught. But, we have seen this so many times when one’s past catches up with you. When will you learn? You may think that you are above the law, but you are not only hurting yourself, your career, and your fans, but you are making other athletes look bad and causing the entire sporting industry to lose its credibility.

It’s truly a sad week in sports. You should be spending time focusing on being the best athlete without cheating and protecting your sport and other athletes around you. Let’s hope one day athletes will learn that telling the truth, even if it hurts or damages your reputation, will help not only help your brand and sports career long term, but the sport itself.


At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

unThe Lance Armstrong story is a disgrace to professional sports. Where and when did he lose his way? Cycling is forever tarnished and his story of triumph over cancer is overshadowed by his fraudulence.

At 10:45 AM, Blogger Sabrina Kidwai said...

I totally agree. His reputation is damaged. If only he would have come out in the beginning and admitted it, then he would have suffered only short term damage. Not sure when he or other athletes will learn that telling the truth is the best course of action.


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