Former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong—known for losing all of his titles and endorsements over his involvement in a doping scandal—and former Olympian turned right-wing commentator Caitlyn Jenner announced the launch of a podcast titled The Forward.
The podcast aims to address the topic of trans athletes competing in sports and explore the concept of "fairness" in this context, which is rich considering both Armstrong and Jenner have faced criticism for their past actions.
As military veteran and trans activist Charlotte Clymer wrote:
"When Lance Armstrong Speaks, Why Does Anyone Listen?"
In a video announcement and a series of tweets, Armstrong introduced the podcast, emphasizing the importance of having conversations surrounding trans inclusion in sports, which comes at a time when GOP legislatures nationwide are working to limit transgender rights.
"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."
You can see his post below.
In follow-up tweets, Armstrong said the topic of transgender atheletes in sports is one of the most "controversial and polarizing subjects today" and justified his role on the podcast:
"Of all the controversial and polarizing subjects out there today, I'm not sure there are any as heated as the topic of Trans athletes in sport."
"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?"
You can see what he wrote below.
Armstrong's reputation is marred by his admission to using performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career.
In 2012, he was stripped of his seven consecutive Tour de France titles and received a lifetime ban from competitive sports. Additionally, Armstrong agreed to pay a significant settlement amount after a civil lawsuit was filed against him for cheating while riding for the publicly-funded Postal Service team.
Social media users have taken the opportunity to provide context beneath Armstrong's video, highlighting his doping scandal and subsequent confession.
A community note on Armstrong's post bears the following message:
"Lance Armstrong was not 'cancelled'."
"Armstrong was the most dominant and successful professional cyclist in history, until 2013 when he was found to have been doping and was stripped of his titles and awards."
"Armstrong himself later admitted to cheating for over a decade."
The announcement of Armstrong and Jenner's podcast has sparked widespread criticism, with many questioning their credibility to address the topic of fairness.
Critics argue that Armstrong's history of doping compromises his position to discuss integrity in sports. Meanwhile, Jenner, despite being a trans woman herself, faced backlash for her remarks against the trans community particularly regarding trans women in women's sports after Jenner herself competed in women's golf tournaments.
Armstrong's announcement was swiftly criticized.
Jenner herself has let loose her own internalized transphobia on multiple occasions.
Last year, she joined Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn in attacking transgender TikToker Dylan Mulvaney, who had spoken out about a recent wave of GOP-sponsored anti-trans legislation around the nation.
Jenner praised Blackburn for "speaking out and having a backbone" in the face of "absurdity" and stressed that the country should not "normalize any of what this person is doing."
Jenner previously also came under fire after she awkwardly appeared to forget she has daughters while suggesting transgender students should be forced to change in a separate locker room, remarks made in response to reports several female students at a Vermont High School were banned from their locker room over their objections to a transgender student.
Much of the Republican pushback against the transgender community has focused on transgender inclusivity in sports, a topic Jenner has also weighed in on, such as when she attacked transgender athlete and swimmer Lia Thomas, who, she claimed, has won medals “at the expense of the other female athletes.”