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Adam Rippon Says Lance Armstrong Wouldn't Drop Trans Athlete Rant

Adam Rippon Says Lance Armstrong Wouldn't Drop Trans Athlete Rant

Lance Armstrong, Adam Rippon

Armstrong clashed with other Stars on Mars contestants over the topic.


Adam Rippon is opening up about Lance Armstrong’s unexpected pivot to complaining about trans athletes in professional sports during an episode of the reality competition show they were both on earlier this year.

Armstrong clashed with other celebrities during the filming of Stars on Mars when he began questioning whether a separate category should be created for trans athletes. Several shut him down, others tried to avoid the conversation, but Armstrong remained insistent, making everyone uncomfortable. It ultimately led to his decision to leave the show because he couldn’t get along with the other contestants.

According to Rippon, only a portion of the conversation actually aired.

“What happens next is Lance comes over and we have a conversation, me and him, for probably the next 15 or 20 minutes. It just wouldn’t end. Every time I’m saying something, I’m lilting, like it’s over, let’s just stop. He couldn’t let it go," he told Entertainment Weekly.

"That's when everything changed, when Lance brought up his opinions on trans athletes and sports. In the show, it's a few minutes, but in reality, that was a long-winded conversation and it really shifted the focus," he added. "It changed my experience totally. It was not the same after that."

When Armstrong left the show, he dived right into the world of podcasting to keep going off about trans athletes in a multi-episode series.

As many, included Rippon, have pointed out, the idea that a cyclist whose name has become all but synonymous with pervasive cheating thinks his voice matters in a conversation about fairness in sports is beyond laughable.

"The person talking about this is the most recognized cheater in all of sports. So it's just not the right time, it's not the right person. Just focus on what [host] William Shatner has to say and just get your job done," said Rippon. The amount of hubris and entitlement it takes to connect those dots and still say, “Yes, this is a discussion that needs my leadership,” is so off the charts it might deserve its own Olympic sport.

Stars on Mars painted a pretty clear picture of where Armstrong stands, even if they wound up excluding the lengthier conversation from the broadcast—something Rippon sounds ultimately grateful for.

“I do know that a lot of the things that were said that were not on the show were very transphobic and I’m glad that trans people didn’t need to watch what was said. It was not nice and it was not good in any sort of way,” he said.

The figure skater added that during the confrontation between Armstrong and the rest of the cast, he “wanted to be a representation of the LGBTQ+ community and that was a moment where I wanted to say something, but I don’t know everything about being a trans person.”

If only Armstrong had such reservations about speaking on topics he doesn’t understand.

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