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Lance Armstrong angered by Tony Kornheiser's comments on bikers

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"Pardon the Interruption" host Tony Kornheiser drew the ire of Lance Armstrong for comments he made about bicyclists on his radio show last week.

Kornheiser got all hot and bothered about cyclists taking up too much room on his precious roads and urged listeners to give them a "nudge" with their cars.



Armstrong, as you might imagine, wasn't too happy about this.

"Listening to Tony Kornheiser's comments/rant on ESPN radio re: cyclists. Disgusting, ignorant, foolish. What a complete f------ idiot," he tweeted early Thursday morning.

By afternoon, it seems the two had made their peace.

"Just off the phone w/ Tony Kornheiser who's very sorry 4 his comments re: cyclists. Going on the show 2morrow 2 discuss this w/ him," Armstrong posted.

It's been a rough month for the host, who was suspended by ESPN for two weeks after railing against the outfit choices made by "SportsCenter" anchor Hannah Storm.

Were Kornheiser's comments over the line, or is this just another case of people not having a sense of humor?

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54 Comments

What a bunch of Idiots. These jerks will only make bicycling more dangerous than it is now. They need to get off their FAT ASSES and remember the joy of riding a bike. You try riding a bike @25 miles an hour on a sidewalk. In most stated bicycles are NOT allowed on the sidewalk.

It is well known that Kornheiser is a first class douchebag.

Shake yourselves people.....TK was kidding..good god you can't have even a little fun anymore on the airwaves. What a screwed up country we live in now.

All of you are idiots...probably overweight and lazy! Just this week, a good friend, husband and father got killed by an idiot driver. He was a professional and was riding on the shoulder. You jerks in your big cars come whizzing by with no regard that we have no protection around us. To joke about this sort of thing is very offensive, rude and just wrong. Get a life....get on a bike and try it. Idiot!

I think it's time for Tony to NOT have a show. He's not adding anything of value to society. In fact he's dumbing down the idiots who listen to him. If you haven't already, Tony, please, please do not breed.

Does anybody truly believe that Tony wants bicyclist to be killed? MORONS.

Lance Armstrong is a freaking ididot

Gee, for some reason people get upset over threats of violence targeting them which are broadcast over mass media. Who'da thunk?

If another group had been insulted and suggestions were made to injure them, they too would be upset.

Cyclists are no different than most people, they get mad when others encourage people to hurt them and they get mad when unflattering stereotypes are promulgated and ignorance is promoted.

This stuff rolls of my back, as I think almost any talk-show host or columnist is essentially paid to bait people and arouse emotions, so when they act like complete jackasses, it's just another day for them at their jobs.

I prefer to ignore them and if they somehow manage to upset me I'll not buy anything advertised on their shows and let the advertisers know it.

But... since they have a pulpit and a huge audience, they deserve to be taken to task for being irresponsible and insensitive.

Mr Kornheiser has told the cycling community that they are a target. He has advised his listeners to "run them down". Mr Kornheiser statement will lead to premeditated vehicle murder. Riding a bike is an american tradition, from our childhood on tricycles to adults on road/touring/mountain biking. I have cycled 48 of my 50 years, many of those years in the Washington DC and surrounding area. Road rage is already a terrible problem both urban and suburban. It is ignorant statements as these that lead to tragic accidents and possible death. If bikes are his first target, what comes next. Pedestrians? Children getting off the school bus? Tell me Tony....where is the X on your car?

Jennifer Wood
Mechanicsville Virginia
Last year I road 2000 miles of Virginia's beautiful roads, I pray to God that we will never meet on the road.

People please get a grip. As an avid biker and an avid Tony listner, Mr. Tony was joking. That is his schtik. He is one of the last very intellegent persons left on radio. He si not dumbing down the masses. Please, if you have a comment to make, please understand what you are commenting on, not a simple 10 second snippet.

Oh, by the way, Tony closes out every single radio show by saying "if you are out on your bikes tonight, please do wear white." He has been doing this for years and years.

Folks, pull-eeeze. I am a baby boomer who laughs like crazy at Tony's old guy radio schtick. IT IS HUMOR, people. If you really believe that he's dumbing down the idiots who listen to him, I suggest that this country is going to hell in a handbasket courtesy of Glen Beck and Rush.

Get over it.

One can only imagine what he'd have to say about Hannah Storm on a bicycle.

I have never heard of this person before this. I wonder why. Of course, good job for him for apparently getting famous Jackass-style. Next he'll be organizing bumfights or electrocuting his nuts for attention.

For those of us who play hockey and basketball a few times a week, thus are not FAT ASSES, and don't ride bikes, there is nothing more annoying than a bunch of cyclist happily riding in the middle of the road. They blow through street signs, slow the flow of traffic & terrorize pedestrians/joggers. It is you, the happy rider, who make the roads more dangerous. Be it a country road or Route 66, these are roads built for cars and not your favorite mode of transportation.

Just because you can climb a skyscraper doesn't mean you should, just because you can ride a killer whale doesn't mean you should, and just because you can ride a bike in a road built for cars doesn't mean you should.

Stay on your bike path and off the roads and everyone will be happy.

As for Kornheiser ... there's a little think on the side of your radio called a dial. If you don't like what you hear, change the station. If Kornheiser, of all people, is too offensive for you, perhaps you need to purchase a bubble and stay there until everything is full of flowers and sunshine.

Chris, Max, Rachelle, Jennier - it's time to get off your bikes and get a life.

get a clue bikers. i ride as well and a regular listener to kornheisers show. he was joking ALSO he ends every show with "if you are out on your bike tonight...do where white" for safety reasons. basically kornhesier made a joke and lance over reacted. tony doesnt think you should actually hit bikers you idiots

These idiots incite drivers to kill cyclists. Get a life, does taking 15 extra seconds to get around the legally justified cyclist riding on "their" road justify a death of a rider? These people need to get off the air!

I hope management fires their asses...or next death of a cyclist sues them for inciting the death because the driver heard these idiots while driving.

I'm LIVID! I quit riding my bike back in 1990 when someone WENT OUT OF THEIR WAY to drive off the street to get close enough to me to take their hand and push ... yes PUSH me over. at the speed they were going it was like a battering ram. I always rode on the shoulder as far over as I could manage. I watched for traffic -- I was afraid of being hit so I went out of my way to assure that not happening. Where I lived - it wasn't that busy with cars. I used to ride my bike over 15 miles a day.

To hear this sound bite I'm so upset I can't stand it. Yes - it's over the line. there are morons out there that think if they hear it, see it, read it - it must be okay to do!!

Hitting a cyclist intentionally is assault. Bike riding is not stupid, it's healthy.

Funny, he's suspended for comments about the apparel choices of a woman ... but nothing happens when he suggests ASSAULT?

It's shtick! It's a comedy show. It amazes me how people can be so self-righteous in their condemnation of something they haven't heard. Then in the same statement call anybody who listens to Tony "overweight," "lazy," and an "idiot." I listen to Tony and am none of those, but even though these people have never met me, they feel qualified to call me these names. How do I know I'm not an idiot? I'm smart enough to know shtick when I hear it.

It amazes me that someone like Tony even has a job and is allowed to be on the air. If you've ever known someone that has been hit and/or killed on their bike by a motorist then you know there is nothing "funny" about encouraging people to "nudge" cyclists. Joking or not, what he's encouraging is a crime. Besides it's like Lance Armstrong said, "This is all about a relationship. It's bikes and cars. Both will be here forever. Awareness needs to exist as well as mutual respect." And the reality is our country would be a lot healthier with more bikes and less cars on the road anyway.

The reason it's not funny is this:

Most people don't understand the rights of cyclists.
Most people retain the attitude encouraged by Tony's "shtick"

It's dangerous to give people the impression that it's okay to have a violent superiority complex while driving large, heavy vehicles at inhuman speeds.

A lot of drivers do believe we belong on the sidewalk and have no idea how much more dangerous that would be and why.

If TK's comments were made on a cycling forum, or in any place where we knew the majority of the audience would "get it", that would be a different story. But it's not certain that a mass-media broadcast audience is 100% clued in.

It may be a joke, shtick and good humor, but it's irresponsible.

ESPN needs to fire this guy. What a tool.

To Randolph Terrance and the "comedy" excusers,

"To Does anybody truly believe that Tony wants bicyclist to be killed? MORONS."

No, I don't. The problem is the hundreds of thousands of listeners out there that are driving with a few cards short of a full deck. By his comments they will somehow feel justified in their attitudes to cyclists and someone will get hurt, or worse. It is bad enough as it is as a cyclist dealing with traffic and road-ragers without Tony encouraging people to "run us down."

You obviously don't bike or understand the dangers involved.

Comedy is comedy and I love to laugh. But his comments were pure stupidity.

Quentin Tarantino and the Cohen brothers have made fortunes out of comedy based on shooting people in the face and killing innocent house wives. True, this is off color but compared to what is heard in most stand up acts and seen in movies, this is much ado about nothing. Again, it is a comedy show. Put it in perspective. It seems that much of the country has trouble differentiating between what is news and what is entertainment. Sound bites are not news.

Maybe shooting could be added to the sport of cycling much as has been added to Olympic skiing. Unlike in the Biathlon though cyclists would probably prefer to use handguns. You never hear of cross country skiers being "tapped" by 4WD's or snowmobiles.
Lighten up everyone, I think this is a joke too. Maybe.

Tony also seems very insecure about seeing other men in tight clothing. Hmm. Wonder if it's his latent homosexual tendencies bubbling up inside that really bothers him.

"... can't stand their bulging packages.... no one wants to see those glistening legs."

Sounds like somebody does. He's either jealous or turned on.

Whether or not the discussion was meant to be humorous does not affect the manner in which a majority of Kornheiser's listeners were affected by the comments. As Spencer said, most people are likely to take what they hear as truth, and practice it themselves. As a person sensitive to sarcasm and joking myself, I admit that it's difficult to see the humor in this conversation.

The thing that's most frustrating is how long the conversation is drawn out, when I'm a cyclist that deals with the dangers of irresponsible and angry drivers every day. Please Mr. Kornheiser, and others like you, respect PEOPLE.

Just listened to both the comments in question and TK's interview with Lance Armstrong in which Tony apologizes for what he said. I'm a little surprised Tony is as contrite as he is, these kind of comments are most definitely his "schtick" and the comments he made about cyclists were not out of the norm for him.

It seems obvious to me that this is a huge over-reaction, TK is most definitely joking, and it should be treated as such. I don't think there would be such serious pressure, for example, on Stephen Colbert to apologize if he ran a short "encouraging" frontier justice by drivers against cyclists. Or perhaps more relevant, nobody is asking that Tony apologize for disgracing the names of the various old celebrities (example: Ja Ja Gabor) that he claims to have slept with in his running gag on PTI. That is because it is humour.

As yes, I am a cyclist, and I too get upset at the pervasive attitude that drivers have towards bikes. I am also a driver, and I would most certainly be enraged if I was stuck on the road behind several riders that were riding next to each other (where I come from there aren't enough riders for this to be an issue).

Frankly, the most offensive thing I've seen or heard today is the comments calling me fat, lazy, and/or an idiot because I side with Tony. These comments are not made with humour and display the kind of hatred and ignorance that should rightfully be drawing the universal ire that Tony seems to have brought upon himself.

Absolutely uncalled for commentary. I'm an avid cyclist, runner and I own a SUV. Unfortunately this episode is experienced by far too many people. Yes, i wear spandex and a jersey with pockets in the back. I shave my legs too! I don't mind the jokes regarding the attire. I agree, it does look stupid but I still wear it. Why? Cause it's not about the look but about having the right equipment for the right sport. However, if Tony and others are planning on nudging, which will result in a rider down, I guess I better gear up with hockey or football gear. The same rationale can be applied to whoever has the "bigger" vehicle. If the biggest vehicle has the right a way, then I hope Tony has something larger than an SUV! The episode went far from humor into threatening the lives of others. I have my wife, 11 yr old and 9 yr old riding with me. Do you want to run them over too? Not only am I educating them on proper riding etiquette but also how riding a bike can create a healthier body and world. Our government and society spend millions on "going green" and fighting health problems. Riding a bike can help both! Although I hope its not the norm, I do know that there is some hostility between some cyclists and motorists. And when an incident occurs, no one wins! Both the rider and motorists have families and when bad or careless decisions are made on the road, lives are lost and charges are filed. Motorists are being locked up cause of their poor driving decisions.

hmmm,

i hope people don't take TK's comments as serious. i always watch out for bikers and have the utmost respect for them on the road, even when they're "slowing us drivers down".

i think i'm gonna go buy a bike this weekend and try it out :)

In agreeance with those who state it was a joke, however you have the morons on the other side of the issue who will take his comment somewhat seriously or think it's "funny" to give a cyclist a nudge or buzz them too close at high speeds with no concern of what this could potentially do to the cyclist from an injury standpoint.

Cyclists have the same rights (essentially) as a someone who rides a motorcycle, and yes they should obey the same laws. BIkes aren't allowed on sidewalks in most areas, just review that book that you used to take the driving test and you'll see it pointed out.

Regardless of intent, it was irresponsible of him to make that comment.

I don't know what is more disturbing...the fact that Kornheiser launched into his schtick encouraging motorists to hit cyclists with their cars or that you actually have people defending this as just humor. Since when does committing a felony potentially injuring or killing other people become funny? Maybe he should talk to the dr. in Los Angeles who was just sentenced to five years in jail after deliberately jamming on his brakes in front of two cyclists sending one of them through his rear windshield. I bet the driver is just laughing right now in his jail cell.

I can't see how anyone defend Kornheiser's comments. If he were on the show telling motorists to "run over" anyone on "stupid little" motorcycles, I'm sure the motorcyclists would be just as upset. This guy is a complete fool! I'm not huge Lance Armstrong fan but I'm glad that he came to the defense of the average cyclist. I commute to work by bike every day. I obey traffic laws and do my best not to inconvenience motorists. But I still have to deal with morons who think that I have no right to the road even though the law says I have the same rights as any other vehicle. If Kornholer was "kidding" it was way out of line. It'll fun to hear him kiss Armstrong's backside and apologize profusely tomorrow! When will they simply fire this fool?

I know exactly how Tony feels. I was trying to enter the Walmart this morning, and some idiot is holding me up, trying to push her walker through the door. My head started steaming...3 seconds wasted...4...5...6..."OH MY GOSH, why is this f*&%^ING old piece of crap in MY WAY". I wanted to slam her to the ground and drop the "Win a stuffed toy or chewing tobacco machine onto her head...That will teach her! " Right ON Tony!

I know exactly how Tony feels. I was trying to enter the Walmart this morning, and some idiot is holding me up, trying to push her walker through the door. My head started steaming...3 seconds wasted...4...5...6..."OH MY GOSH, why is this f*&%^ING old piece of crap in MY WAY". I wanted to slam her to the ground and drop the "Win a stuffed toy or chewing tobacco machine onto her head...That will teach her! " Right ON Tony!

Anyone who has ridden a bike even infrequently knows what it's like to be ridden off the road. Tony's comments may be in jest but too many idiots who don't know the rules of the road believe what he said and he has reinforced the idea.

not a cool thing to say even if he was just kidding. I am a serious cyclist and have seen more and more problems over the years with drivers who seem to be either completely unaware of bicyclists or don't care or really do want to hurt us. Too many cars with fat lazy jerks driving and not enough people out riding around!!!

FU TK Yes, us cyclists should not ride two abreast on busy roads or fail to obey the rules of the road but assalting us with your vehicles is not the answer ASS. How about you place you energy soliciting government to install bike lanes on roadways so we all have room.
Ride on.
And turn TK off. Get this jerk off the airwaves.

As an active cyclist, I feel Tony Kornheiser is no friend of ours. I might have understood ridiculing the specialized clothing we wear at times; that would be humor. Advocating running down cyclists with a vehicle just hits too close to the truth and is thus ridiculously irresponsible. Organizations like the Active Tranportation Alliance have worked for years to raise awareness of shockingly real instances of this very behavior. Tony Kornheiser wouldn't be the first broadcaster who got carried away with himself on the air. But a lot of people heard his rant and probably not his apology. Tony needs to spend twenty times the amount of energy on correcting his assault on on public perception to reverse the damage he has done. And ESPN radio has a responsibility to make him do it.

The conversation went too long. When I ride in the street I do take up the whole lane. It is safe riding. People should be riding their bikes or taking mass transit. DC should not allow cars. We have an enviornmental problem that most people are not paying attention to.

Replace the word,"cyclist"with the word "jew" or "black" and then see if you still think this is funny, It's not and neither is Tony.

All comments made by everyone usually come from the "gut" regardless of how insidious the intent. In this case, however, Tony Kornheiser's comment was more deleterious then insidious. This means, for a professional in this business, he did not at all think about what he said before he said it. Conversely, if he did, then by all means he is an idiot, I concur. Like I would tell an eighth grader Tony, "think before you talk", and don't be an idiot.

Friday was the first time that I actually encountered Critical Mass. I was leaving work and I tried unsuccessfully many time to simply cross the street ( I was walking ). I finally just went for it, when I was knocked by a cyclist. I yelled "excuse me, pedestrians, have the right away!" Four cyclists stopped and proceeded to yell "F%$K YOU." over and over again. One got off his bike and said "what are you going to do?" He got back on his bike and called me a "F%$king Pu$$y". I managed to cross the street and see several of the cyclists kicking cars that were trying to cross the street with the light. These people should not be allowed to break traffic laws and disrupt traffic the way the do. I was assaulted physically and verbally. Something needs to be done.

Friday was the first time that I actually encountered Critical Mass. I was leaving work and I tried unsuccessfully many time to simply cross the street ( I was walking ). I finally just went for it, when I was knocked by a cyclist. I yelled "excuse me, pedestrians, have the right away!" Four cyclists stopped and proceeded to yell "F%$K YOU." over and over again. One got off his bike and said "what are you going to do?" He got back on his bike and called me a "F%$king Pu$$y". I managed to cross the street and see several of the cyclists kicking cars that were trying to cross the street with the light. These people should not be allowed to break traffic laws and disrupt traffic the way the do. I was assaulted physically and verbally. Something needs to be done.

I had my first experience with Critical Mass this weekend while driving downtown in SF. As a resident of downtown San Jose, I'm quite familiar with the San Jose Bike Party, so I thought, "Oh, neat, San Francisco has something similar! Nice!"

Then I sat in my car for 4 red light cycles in a row while the bicyclists ignored traffic laws and ran down pedestrians. And I realized Critical Mass is nothing like San Jose Bike Party. SJ has a very large group but everyone manages to obey red lights and stay in the correct lane.

A huge problem facing cyclists right now is that so many of them just won't obey traffic laws and that pisses off drivers. Critical Mass is not helping correct that at all. It seems more like an excuse for a lot of people to go out and release their pent up frustrations on drivers than any kind of pro-bike activism.

If Critical Mass had never existed, the number of bikes on the road would be even larger than it is today. I see this backlash you're talking about. I was told by the head of the Oakland Bike Coalition in 1992 that CM would destroy any chance for bike advocacy in the 90s because of this supposed backlash. the state of California is moving to require licensing ans insurance for all cyclists as a direct result of Critical Mass.

Kornhauser should not be allowed to use public air to intimidate cyclists or Hannah fans. Contrary to popular opinion, Kornhauser is not an idiot. But some listeners are idiots. And some cyclists are idiots. Why incite them? That will not make the roads faster for motorists.

It is time to relieve Tony Kornheiser of his duties along with other media personnel who use their public facing positions irresponsibly.

Ok, Lance Armstrong and ESPN's Tony Kornheiser have talked and Lance has accepted Tony's apology on behalf of cyclists...but, I am still pissed at this guy. What he said was wrong...so what? We forgive him and he goes on his merry way. That's part of the problem. There are no consequnces for those who hate cyclists. Those who hurt cyclists. Those who kill cyclists. Really, you can kill a cyclist and nothing happens...nothing. Here's a jerk who told his audience "run them over" and we do nothing. Lance was too kind. I'm not. I'm not accepting the jerk's apology. Nor should Lance. I am dissappointed in Lance.

Joe Mizereck
joe@3feetplease.com

As a public health measure, Tony Kornheiser should be relieved of his duties. Anyone who calls for violence against people who are engaging in activities that lower the burden of obesity-related illnesses should not have access to a microphone. In my work in the medical field, I have seen cyclists become paraplegics because motorists "tapped them." This is not a laughing matter, and this man should not be allowed to promote reckless behavior again. ESPN: please, fire this man.

Sorry this is my sense of humor, So Ihope you'll frogive my self indulgence, and like "Tony," I believe I should be granted my inalienable right to "Freedom of Speech!" This is a "democracy" isn't it? We are all adults and we can all buy "handgun" licenses, can't we? So, I think it's Ok if you threaten, or even make physical contact my bodily person with your "motor vehicle," as long as when I manage to survive the "Attack" and the "Assault" with your obvious intention to cause "Bodily harm to my person," then I can exercise my right to "self-defense" and withdraw my pistol from it's holster and put a hollow-point slug between your beety, hateful, jealous, disgusting eyes .... It's all OK right ... Boy I've just had myself a great chuckle ...that was incredibly funny wasn't it? Maybe we should see how funny Adam Little's Family thinks "Tony" humor is ... Great laughs .... Of course this was all very, very humorous!!!!

Sorry this is my sense of humor, So Ihope you'll frogive my self indulgence, and like "Tony," I believe I should be granted my inalienable right to "Freedom of Speech!" This is a "democracy" isn't it? We are all adults and we can all buy "handgun" licenses, can't we? So, I think it's Ok if you threaten, or even make physical contact my bodily person with your "motor vehicle," as long as when I manage to survive the "Attack" and the "Assault" with your obvious intention to cause "Bodily harm to my person," then I can exercise my right to "self-defense" and withdraw my pistol from it's holster and put a hollow-point slug between your beety, hateful, jealous, disgusting eyes .... It's all OK right ... Boy I've just had myself a great chuckle ...that was incredibly funny wasn't it? Maybe we should see how funny Adam Little's Family thinks "Tony" humor is ... Great laughs .... Of course this was all very, very humorous!!!!

I don't understand how Kornheiser and ESPN got off so easy after this egregious affront to sports fans. I mean Kornheiser was suspended for two weeks for saying that his co-host's outfit was horrible. But when he advocates violence against cyclists and opens ESPN up to a huge lawsuit if someone takes his advice - nothing??? Is ESPN only concerned about insults to their own employees and don't care about insulting their viewers and listeners??

second or third DC/Baltimore cyclist killed by drivers in a few weeks.

http://blacknell.net/dynamic/2010/04/13/dc-cyclist-killed-2/

thank tony

I am a road cyclist. Wouldn't it be funny to make Tony Kornheiser get on a bike and force him to ride the Mt. Evans hillclimb road race in Colorado?

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