I don’t normally post stuff like this but I wanted to comment on all this Ryan Lochte nonsense. Although I think this tweet adequately (and hilariously) sums up what happened, I have some thoughts I wanted to put up in lieu of normal post today.
Anyone who spends more than five seconds watching any video content where Ryan Lochte speaks or who reads anything he’s posted online, you can glean that he’s definitely not the brightest bulb. He swims fast, and the nation seemed to be enamoured with him for a time. But after he and some friends got frat boy black out drunk and roughed up a gas station sign in a foreign country with questionable policing tactics, someone pulled a gun on him and may have held him financially responsible for some damage.
I imagine Ryan waking up the next day, hungover, short a few hundy and trying to piece together an evening that, to his credit, may have been tricky to figure out, given the language barrier. So yeah, what he remembered was the scary parts and his childlike brain filled in the rest.
That is not to say what he did was right. But as someone who’s been the sober person with a very drunk parent, their recollection of the blackout phase of the “night before” are almost always some component fabrication and the rest is distorted by the alcohol. And, maybe Ryan Lochte has a bit of a hero complex. Competing on the Olympic level might do that to you. This probably doesn’t help things for him when trying to craft an authentic recollection.
The notion that he and his friends we robbed at gunpoint has its own sensationalism that he probably should have anticipated before he repeated it. Or at least consulted with his friends before mentioning it to anyone else. But those are the thoughts of a person who has the benefit of a spectator in this hilarious shit-show.
So, what do we make of it? His friends got fined. He lost his endorsement deal with Speedo. Brazil took great offense to the one accusation of robbery that didn’t actually take place amid legit problems with poverty, crime and homelessness during an international sporting event. And, me, watching it all, I say, these guys aren’t criminals. They’re just stupid. And unless we start taxing stupidity, I think it’s time to let stupid dogs lie, or at least go back to what they do best: swim.