Former Heavyweight champion Mike Tyson has had his ups and downs throughout his life well beyond his professional boxing career. Tyson has dealt with many personal problems that have profoundly impacted his life over the years. That has given him a unique perspective on things that includes disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, who has seen his reputation fall entirely south due to his ties to performance-enhancing drugs during his career. With that in mind, Tyson has a compelling reason for why he will never bash Armstrong.
Lance Armstrong’s reputation
Over the years, Armstrong has been one of the most polarizing sports figures that have led to many garner disdain toward him.
He put forth an incredibly successful career with seven Tour de France wins to his resume while he also overcame the personal hurdle of cancer. However, all of that has had a significant damper on his life as his cheating using performance-enhancing drugs and utter strong and brutal denial of it over the years tainted his public image forever.
The constant chatter around possible doping during his illustrious career only created bitterness and many instances of blatant rudeness that painted him into a corner. That included using his cancer as a guise for blasting and criticizing using it as a reason for his innocence. For many years, Armstrong was strong-willed with that approach, which included filing lawsuits or completely cutting off anybody that attempted to link him to PEDs.
That did see Armstrong in his only way admit to doping during his career back in 2013, but it has left many stones unturned with the situation. With that in mind, another polarizing all-time sport great has his support.
Why Mike Tyson can’t label Lance Armstrong as a ‘bad guy’
Tyson is no stranger to a fall from grace as he has gone through many tough situations in his life.
The 53-year-old moved in the complete opposite direction over the years to help restructure his image that was damaged throughout his boxing career behind numerous ugly instances. It has given Tyson a unique perspective on Armstrong as his viewpoint of the disgraced cyclist is one that isn’t a popular public opinion as he stated several years ago that he couldn’t see him as a “bad guy.”
“I don’t know how to say it, but I think Lance Armstong is a nice guy. I was drunk and hanging out one day. I was really in a bad state in Las Vegas and somebody came up to me and said ‘Hey Mike, I am Lance are you okay?’ I didn’t really know who he was at the time and somebody told me that was Lance (Armstrong). I really pretty high right there. No bad guy would ever do something like that. No selfish guy would do something like that.
“For a guy like me, I am at my bottom and I can’t think that’s a bad guy. Maybe I am being self-absorbed because he was kind to me, but I can’t call him a bad guy. He did bad things, but I will never call him a bad guy.”
Although Tyson voiced that he can’t personally see Armstrong in any other light, he does note that he’s going off based on his interactions with him. It was a time in his life that he was dealing with personal issues, and the former cyclist’s actions made a significant impact on him.
Lance Armstrong’s legacy
Throughout his career, Armstrong burnt many bridges behind his often ruthless behavior and unwithering denial of his usage of PEDs.
That has left a strong mark on his career that has tainted his legacy forever. What has made it more difficult for him to gather any positive public image is the way he acted. His admission to doping was a step in the right direction, but many have blasted him for the lack of empathy and sincerity behind that.
There may never be a time where his legacy is seen in a positive manner, which he played a large part in shaping by his actions.