Hearne: Why Sporting Kansas City Needs to Pull the Plug on ‘Livestrong’

livestrong_logoMost people haven’t closely followed the unraveling of Lance Armstrong

That’s not a huge sin because it hasn’t exactly been front page news like his winning seven Tour de France titles and dating Missourian Sheryl Crow at the height of her career were.

Far from it.

Most of the coverage in the Star and Lawrence Journal World, for example, have been little more than news blips – a paragraph or two here, a couple paragraphs there.

travis-tygart1However as anyone who watched the 60 Minutes interview this week with U.S. Anti-Doping Agency head Travis Tygart knows, Armstrong is a first class sleazebag. A man who forged an entire career based on, not just cheating and lying, but engaging in despicable acts of intimidation directed at fellow members of the U.S. Postal Team who testified against him.

“It was tough,” Tygart told 60 Minutes. “All these witnesses were scared of the repercussions of them simply telling the truth.”

What could Lance Armstrong do to them? 60 Minutes asked.

“Incinerate them,” Tygart responded.

Barry-Bonds_sentenced121611-e1357764210887Say what you will about disgraced baseball stars like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clements – all of whom were denied entrance into baseball’s Hall of Fame earlier this week because of their alleged steriod use – at least they didn’t engage in some of the threatening tactics Armstrong is accused by his teammates and others of engaging in.

Here’s why Sporting should cut Livestrong loose and find a more deserving charity:

“Armstrong’s team of lawyers and public relations people launched their own campaign against the existence of the U.S.  Anti-doping Agency,” 60 Minutes reports. “The CEO of the Livestrong foundation, Armstrong’s cancer charity, lobbied against USADA before congress. Several members of congress and 23 California state representatives called for an investigation of USADA’s practices and its taxpayer funding.”

Get the picture?

Despite a mountain of evidence that Armstrong cheated and was “running a doping conspiracy” the very head of Livestrong – a cancer charity with no dog in the fight – tried to take out the federal agency that was investigating Armstrong.

These are the type of folks Sporting wants to associate its name with?


mqdefaultEven after the release the USADA report that brought Armstrong down, Livestrong head Doug Ulman went on record last fall that, “He’s our biggest advocate and always will be,” referring to Armstrong. “Ulman said its 2009 endorsement of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act was more of a problem for donors than the doping charges.”


Most of you will probably never see that report on Armstrong because it ran on 60 Minutes Sports which is only available to subscribers of Showtime.

Look, people make mistakes and Sporting committed a serious error in judgement by entering into its deal with Armstrong and his charity not two years ago.

Now it’s time for Sporting to cut its losses, admit its mistake and move on.

It’s also time for Livestrong to openly and decisively cut all ties to Armstrong, clean house of those closest to Armstrong who participated in his attempted coverup and right the organization.

That’s not Sporting’s problem tough, that’s Livestrong’s problem.

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11 Responses to Hearne: Why Sporting Kansas City Needs to Pull the Plug on ‘Livestrong’

  1. smartman says:

    I’m starting a new clothing company called FUBO. I’ll give SKC 10% of the gross for stadium naming rights and FUBO on the jersey.

    Anticipated first year sales are $20/MM

  2. Lance the Intern says:

    For Us By Others?

  3. admin says:

    Actually, there is a FUBO already – standing for FU Barrack Obama

  4. chuck says:

    Tourettes is far more interesting than Tour De France and not as repetitive.

    I caught “Around The Horn” on TV last week and was amazed at how vitriolic the members were towards Armstong based on just what Hearne is talking about here.

    They eviscerated the guy one and all.

    His “Apology” is a galactically bad idea from a legal and economic standpoint. The need to stay in the spotlight, no matter what the risk, must be addictive.

    This will turn out just like ya think it well.

    No one will scream for Barabbas.

  5. mark smith says:

    Wwgs? What would glazer say? Seriously hearne, your scribe has been MIA for a week or better. Legions of readers wanna know. Surely a guy who runs stories on the enquirer wouldn’t want to keep his readers in the dark. I bust glazers chops on a semi regular basis but no ill will. So hope all is ok with the guy.

    • chuck says:

      Me too.

      Where is the Glaze?

      No football predictions?

      No pics from Woodside?

      No juice horrible vacations with underage bipolar women?

      Is he sick?

    • Super Dave says:

      “Legions of readers wanna know”

      Not a soul one I have talked to this week has spoken during the conversations, “Do you know where Glazer is? We sure do miss him.”

      I am sure when Hearne is ready, he will tell you, till then his rag he can do as he pleases.

    • admin says:

      Craig is cool. And he’ll be showing up here as he did for several years in my columns.

  6. balbonis moleskine says:

    Sporting KC’s “commitment” to Livestrong is part of a badly designed tax avoidance scheme.

    They couldn’t sell the naming rights. Nobody would bite, sprint and cerner declined.

    So they then “gave” the naming rights to Livestrong and then took a tax deduction for the “full” amount of value of the naming rights, which they have undoubtedly calculated as the average of other naming rights deals.

    The only problem is that nobody wanted to buy these rights, ever. The value of an item that nobody wants to buy is ZERO, not an average of other MLS naming rights deals.

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