Grauer: I never asked for that
In defending its use of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong as a “celebrity” in a pickleball fund-raising event, the Aspen Education Foundation has misrepresented my position.
The foundation wrote to The Times, “After a (my) letter to the editor suggested that our donors return their money, they refused.”
My letter, in fact, said that it’s the foundation’s obligation to return the generous donors’ contributions because it made an ethically flawed decision to use the unrepentant Armstrong. https://www.aspentimes.com/opinion/grauer-pickle-from-pickleball-event/
None of my letters to the editor ever said that the donors should return their money, or ask for one.
Puzzlingly, the foundation’s letter omits any moral consideration of using someone as a role model who brazenly defends his unethical behavior. Instead, it glorifies Armstrong for his donations to the foundation as a local public schools benefactor.
Can using the ill-gotten doping gains from Armstrong be whitewashed by using them for education or by using him as a “celebrity” for the schools?
I contacted a mid-valley friend, Michael McClain, who is a retired professor of philosophy and religion at Rhodes College for an opinion.
He said in an email: “You are right. I agree that, if your reasoning is acknowledged as correct, then money raised this way ought to be returned. It would be inconsistent to acknowledge it was morally wrong to raise the money this way and not acknowledge an obligation to return it. Of course, the donors could then make a decision to give the money anyway.”
Unlike the private education foundation, the Aspen School Board is a publicly elected body. The board must demonstrate to the community that its education policy stands for truth and integrity.