Lance Armstrong Takes Flak Over Trans 'Fairness' Remark

Disgraced cyclist says special series of podcast will look into 'polarizing' issue
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2023 6:15 PM CDT
Lance Armstrong Takes Flak Over Trans 'Fairness' Remark
In this March 3, 2017 photo, Lance Armstrong stands on the court after an NBA basketball game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Brett Davis, File)

Lance Armstrong took plenty of flak Sunday after he announced that a special series of his podcast "The Forward" would look into what he called the "controversial and polarizing" issue of transgender athletes. "Is there not a world in which one can be supportive of the transgender community and curious about the fairness of Trans athletes in sport yet not be labeled a transphobe or a bigot as we ask questions?" the former pro cyclist tweeted. Critics said that as one of the most notorious cheaters in the history of sports, Armstrong is one of the last people who should be determining what "fairness" is, People reports. He was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles in 2012 and later admitted doping.

"You cheated for a decade, and you're going to shame trans athletes or question their advantages? What a joke," one Twitter user told the 51-year-old, per People. Julie DiCaro at Deadspin says she can't remember Armstrong ever voicing support for women's sports before, but he still "seems to feel .. his voice is the one the women's sports community is eager and willing to hear from." Armstrong told one critic to climb down from his "high horse," saying he's "actually not lecturing anyone rather bringing all sides to the table and inviting rational and open dialogue. And I might add, having a conversation that almost nobody dares touch."

In another tweet, Armstrong asked: "Have we really come to a time and place where spirited debate is not only frowned upon, but feared? Where people's greatest concern is being fired, shamed or cancelled? As someone all too familiar with this phenomenon, I feel I'm uniquely positioned to have these conversations." Twitter's Community Notes added the context that Armstrong wasn't "cancelled," but "was the most dominant and successful professional cyclist in history" until he was found to have been doping and was stripped of his titles and awards. (More Lance Armstrong stories.)

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