Public humiliation would be a difficult thing to receive with grace. Especially if you’re Lance Armstrong, the Tour De France legend who has been trying to move past his doping scandal that tarnished his reputation as a cycling champion. Time reports today that in a recent interview with Freakanomics Radio, Armstrong relayed the circumstances behind the time he bought an entire restaurant dinner.
A few years, ago, Armstrong says he was getting into an Uber in Denver when someone on a nearby restaurant patio started booing him. Armstrong recalls, “the next thing you know, the entire patio is screaming ‘Fuck you, fuck you.’ I’ve never had that happen. I was like, ‘Oh.’ I was shaking.”
While some of us would run screaming for home (me), Armstrong said he subsequently called the restaurant manager to give him his credit card number to buy all the patrons dinner. He told the manager, “Tell them I understand.” Armstrong himself admits that 10 years ago, he would have “jumped across the railing and start throwing punches” instead.
Buying a large group of people dinner is apparently an effective gesture if you have a really large bank account at your disposal—but still, an impressive reaction to getting sworn at by a crowd in public.