Sources say that the powers that be at Sporting Kansas City appear poised to end the soccer club’s affiliation with disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong‘s charity Livestrong. At this point in time, a final determination may not yet have been made, but the betting money is it will come soon.
“The publicity about Armstrong is just too bad at this point,” says a source. “But if they decide to drop Livestrong, I think they’re going to look for another charity.”
It’s not like this hasn’t been in the works for some time.
Sporting told Star sports columnist Sam Mellinger last fall that it was wrestling with whether to keep the Livestrong name. In exchange for the “scoop,” Mellinger tap danced a bit and rewarded Sporting by wrongly stating that, “The easy thing would’ve been for Sporting to walk away from Livestrong already. But if nothing else, a willingness to wait this long indicates a willingness to go against making the PR-approved, masses-pleasing move of renaming the stadium.”
Other than KC Confidential calling for Armstrong to step down and Sporting to end its naming rights deal last August, there appears to have been little to no conversation to that effect outside of Mellinger’s decreeing it.
“For the good of his charity and it’s mission, Armstrong needs to do the right thing and step aside and (Sporting) needs to do the obvious thing and change it’s name from Livestrong,” I wrote then. “Immediately.”
“That’s where the internal conflict at Sporting is,” says the source. “The charity is a great charity and Lance is an asshole – what do you do? There’s a very divided camp on keeping the Livestrong name or not.”
Which brings us to the timing of a decision.
“If they’re going to do it, they’ll do it in the next couple of weeks,” says the source.