Skip to navigationSkip to content

Ideas

Our home for bold arguments and big thinkers.

Nike dropped Lance Armstrong after doping charges surfaced. Now that he's admitted to it, the company wants him back?
AP Photo / Mary Altaffer
Nike dropped Lance Armstrong after doping charges surfaced. Now that he’s admitted to it, the company wants him back?
SECOND CHANCE FOR LANCE

A disgraced athlete sporting the swoosh? Oops, Nike’s done it again

George Parker
By George Parker

Well, that didn’t take long at all.

As I predicted, redemption came quickly after Lance Armstrong’s performance last week on Oprah Winfrey’s network, OWN. Days before it aired, I wrote about the weep-a-thon and said to remember Nike CEO Phil Knight never met a disgraced sports villain he couldn’t learn to love again. In October, the company distanced itself from the cyclist who has since admitted to doping. Back then, Knight said:

Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him.

Now, he’s changing his tune. When asked if Armstrong and Nike might patch things up after the cyclist admitted to his massive drug program, Knight responded, “Never say never.”

Welcome back to the club, Lance. Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant and Michael Vick have been waiting for you all along.