It wouldn’t be the Olympics without some serious drama, am I right? The latest in “WTF is happening in Rio” is both hilarious and infuriating, not to mention very confusing. Yes, I’m talking about #LochteGate.
In case you aren’t aware of what’s happening, here’s a quick breakdown: A few days ago, Ryan Lochte’s mom made headlines when she told the press that Ryan and some of the other USA swimmers were robbed at gunpoint at a gas station in Rio. The Olympics committee was quick to deny the claims, but then Ryan confirmed them by his heroic tale of saying “whatever” as a gun was pressed to his head (no, I’m actually not joking!). At first, everyone was like, “Wow, poor Ryan! So beautiful, but so confused” but then more details came out, and we were all like, “Uh, wait, what?” and then the shadiness unfolded.
The security footage was released and bystanders spoke up, and we all came to realize that we had, in fact, been duped by Ryan Lochte, who is a very talented swimmer but not, like, a talented thinker. To be fair to us, we were only duped for about .5 seconds. As it turns out, Ryan and his teammates were not robbed – they had decided to (probably drunkenly) cause a lot of damage to a gas station for no apparent reason, and then spin a “woe is me” tale to avoid negative press. Ryan immediately left the country, but his teammates stayed behind, and now they’re, uh, not allowed to leave.
Since that news broke, several things have happened. One is that people immediately noticed the difference in viewers’ attitudes towards Gabby Douglas not putting her hand on her heart during the National Anthem (God forbid!!!!) and Ryan Lochte lying to all of us to make himself look good and Rio look bad. The difference is that people almost had a heart attack when Gabby missed a simple gesture, and people just laughed off Ryan’s weird behavior. This isn’t surprising, considering all of the other sexist things the Olympics coverage has given us. Two: an Olympics spokesperson tried to blow off the drama by referring to Ryan, who is over 30-years-old, as a “kid” just trying to have some fun.
— NPR (@NPR) August 18, 2016
This, in case you couldn’t tell, is a stark difference between the way the media and people as a whole treat young black men who commit crimes (or sometimes don’t even commit crimes and are just, you know, sitting in a car before getting shot) and how they treat famous white men. But more on that shortly! The third thing that happened is that Ryan’s teammates were like, “Eff you man,” and threw him under the bus, as they well should, because honestly, he left them there to deal on their own while he fled.
— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) August 18, 2016
And lastly, the fourth thing that happened (so far!) is that #LochteGate started trending on Twitter, leading to some funny yet also infuriating posts that explain everything in 140 characters or less. Want to get a better understanding of this weird mess? Read on for these tweets about #LochteGate that will explain it all.
1. Probably how everyone feels right now:
I would rather watch Ryan Lochte being interrogated by Brazilian police than like 90% of Olympic sports.
— Josh Gondelman (@joshgondelman) August 18, 2016
2. I mean, it’s not weird that we all saw through this.
Ryan Lochte saying "Whatever" to the guy robbing him at gunpoint is the most Ryan Lochte thing to ever happen pic.twitter.com/Y487NM4KyO
— Sam Stryker (@sbstryker) August 14, 2016
3. This tweet sums up pretty much everything. Because while #LochteGate might seem like just another humorous news story, it’s actually a symbol of all the things that are wrong with our views on race.
white privilege is going to a foreign country, peeing on a business's floor & kicking in a door, & then saying YOU were robbed #LochteGate
— Gabe Bergado (@gabebergado) August 18, 2016
4. Another example of racism is villainizing Gabby, a young black woman who did not break the law, and laughing at Ryan, an older white man who did something legitimately awful.
— Sāvion (@SavionWright) August 18, 2016
5. Because you know Ryan’s lawyer wants to quit.
— Nikki Jones (@mrsjones_2013) August 18, 2016
6. Honestly, yeah.
— K.Dot (@kjbas) August 18, 2016
Insulting how Gabby Douglas(20) was being told she needs to fix her attitude in Rio, but #LochteGate and crew are all "kids" who got rowdy.
— Lea (@_MissLeandra) August 18, 2016
8. A video of Ryan and his people was just released:
— B. (@BrionnaR22) August 18, 2016
9. The most absurd part of the entire story, if you ask me.
Stop calling white people over 18 "kids",
and to stop referring to people of color under 18 as adults. #LochteGate
— Karen Mulholland (@kemulholland) August 18, 2016
10. Probably very accurate.
— Kofie Y. (@KofieYeboah) August 18, 2016
11. Can we lay off Gabby now?
What was that whole thing about Gabby not representing USA well….#LochteGate
— Mitch (@FCneoTokyo) August 18, 2016
12. Can’t you see him saying this?
During planning, how many times did the phrase, "the Lochster gots this bro" come up?#LochteGate
— Robert Flores (@RoFlo) August 18, 2016
13. She probably does!
Kim Kardashian has a video of Ryan Lochte stealing his own wallet
— elan gale (@theyearofelan) August 18, 2016
14. Ryan, trying to explain his way out.
BRAZIL: Can you describe your attacker?
RYAN LOCHTE: You wouldn't know him. He goes to another Olympics.#LochteGate
— Funny Or Die (@funnyordie) August 18, 2016
15. When you realize you actually can’t do whatever you want everywhere.
When you're so accustomed to your white-privilege American lifestyle you forget it doesn't apply to other countries. #LochteGate
— Long Live The King. (@TheDejaKing) August 18, 2016
16. Many comparisons to Tamir Rice have been made, and tbh, all of them make the U.S. look terrible. Because it’s true – why is this acceptable?
Curious how "kids will be kids" applies to willful destruction of property in #LochteGate, but not to Tamir Rice playing alone in a park.
— April (@ReignOfApril) August 18, 2016
17. Ryan right now:
— Ethan Miller (@EMiller518) August 18, 2016
18. Lolz remember when he said he saw it happen to Ryan?
More NBC reporting still to come… pic.twitter.com/sVjoqaVHow
— Alexander Goot (@AGoot18) August 18, 2016
19. I mean, yeah.
— Joe Flo (@TeamJFlores) August 18, 2016
20. Let’s remember who we’re dealing with here, people.
— Heather Hardison (@muvipsycanalyst) August 18, 2016
What are your thoughts on the Ryan Lochte situation? What did we forget to add? Share in the comments!