Ryan Lochte just played all of us.
Earlier this week, the U.S Olympic swimmer and three of his teammates told the world they were robbed at gunpoint while coming home to the Olympic village after a night of partying in Rio de Janeiro.
But on Thursday, Brazilian authorities determined that was a lie, and in fact found out the group vandalized a nearby gas station. And in an ironic twist, the only gun that appeared in the incident belonged to the gas station’s security guard–who only brandished his weapon after the vandalism occured.
As Black athletes continue to slay in Rio, essentially making America look great again against the backdrop of a city thriving with African culture, Lochte and his cohorts used White male privilege to escape a drunken night of mayhem and bad frat boy decisions.
Here’s a rundown if you’re lost. Lochte and three teammates – Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz, and Jack Conger – said that they were robbed at gunpoint early Sunday morning. According to the quartet, men posing as police officers pulled over the group’s taxi and raised a gun to Lochte’s head, demanding money.
But then things got weird when Lochte and his teammates switched their stories, adding and subtracting intricate details. Lochte at one point said the taxi made a pit stop at a gas station somewhere in the timeline of the robbery.
Well, said gas station has the receipts. Video surveillance shows one of the swimmers urinating near the building; he is then confronted by gas station attendants. Reports say the men threw money at the gas station owner after they vandalized the bathroom. Someone at the gas station called police, but by the time they arrived the men were gone.
As Brazil continues to grapple with its own set of social and economic policies, did these men think it imperative to play into the “minority communities are dangerous” stereotype? It’s about the same level of ignorance that some White accusers use who frame their attacker as a “brown” person – before we find out that said attacker never existed. Wait, that’s exactly what they did…
Lochte is currently back in the States, even though a Brazilian judge ordered him to surrender his passport and stay in the country, according to The New York Times. Apparently, the United States Olympic Committee would not give up the swimmers’ locations. Then, Bentz and Gunnar were pulled off their plane on Wednesday night with orders to remain in the country as the investigation unfolded.
In an interview with The New York Times, Brian Winters, vice president for policy at Americas Society and Council of the Americas, wasn’t having it: “This incident has caused so much damage to Rio’s brand abroad that I think Brazilians deserve a clear, consistent account of what happened.”
He said the whole mess “has tapped into one of Brazilians’ biggest pet peeves — gringos who treat their country like a third-rate spring break destination where you can lie to the cops and get away with it.”
What’s even more frustrating is how Mario Andrada, the head of the IOC, is framing this incident:
“I do not regret having apologized. No apologies from him or other athletes are needed. We have to understand that these kids came here to have fun. Let’s give these kids a break. Sometimes you make decisions that you later regret. They had fun, they made a mistake, life goes on.”
Wow. No apology needed? Lochte is a grown man. He is 32, far from a kid.
But we already know the deal. Lochte has the complexion for the protection. If a brown or Black athlete committed this flub, we’d be watching and reading a completely different story.
African-American Medalists At The 2016 Rio Olympics
1. USA Women's Basketball TeamSource:Getty 1 of 45
2. USA Men's Basketball TeamSource:Getty 2 of 45
3. Simone BilesSource:Getty 3 of 45
4. Gabby DouglasSource:Getty 4 of 45
5. Daryl HomerSource:Getty 5 of 45
6. Simone ManuelSource:Getty 6 of 45
7. Lia NealSource:Getty 7 of 45
8. Michelle CarterSource:Getty 8 of 45
9. Jeff HendersonSource:Getty 9 of 45
10. Justin GatlinSource:Getty 10 of 45
11. Tori BowieSource:Getty 11 of 45
12. LaShawn MerrittSource:Getty 12 of 45
13. Venus WilliamsSource:Getty 13 of 45
14. Allyson FelixSource:Getty 14 of 45
15. Christian TaylorSource:Getty 15 of 45
16. Will ClayeSource:Getty 16 of 45
17. Tianna BartolettaSource:Getty 17 of 45
18. Brittney ReeseSource:Getty 18 of 45
19. Brianna RollinsSource:Getty 19 of 45
20. Nia AliSource:Getty 20 of 45
21. Kristi CastlinSource:Getty 21 of 45
22. Kerron ClementSource:Getty 22 of 45
23. Dalilah MuhammadSource:Getty 23 of 45
24. Ashley SpencerSource:Getty 24 of 45
25. Morolake AkinosunSource:Getty 25 of 45
26. Taylor Ellis-WatsonSource:Getty 26 of 45
27. Ariana WashingtonSource:Getty 27 of 45
28. Courtney OkoloSource:Getty 28 of 45
29. Phyllis FrancisSource:Getty 29 of 45
30. Natasha HastingsSource:Getty 30 of 45
31. Ashton EatonSource:Getty 31 of 45
32. Kyle ClemonsSource:Getty 32 of 45
33. Arman HallSource:Getty 33 of 45
34. Francena McCororySource:Getty 34 of 45
35. Matthew CentrowitzSource:Getty 35 of 45
36. Gil RobertsSource:Getty 36 of 45
37. Tony McQuaySource:Getty 37 of 45
38. English GardnerSource:Getty 38 of 45
39. David VerburgSource:Getty 39 of 45
40. Paul KipkemoiSource:Getty 40 of 45
41. Rachael AdamsSource:Getty 41 of 45
42. Foluke AkinradewoSource:Getty 42 of 45
43. J'den CoxSource:Getty 43 of 45
44. Claressa ShieldsSource:Getty 44 of 45
45. Shakur StevensonSource:Getty 45 of 45
Let’s Talk About How Ryan Lochte’s ‘Robbery’ Narrative Uses White Privilege was originally published on newsone.com