Ryan Lochte broke his silence via Instagram on Friday, offering remorse for a robbery narrative that raised questions about both his integrity and highlighted White privilege.
On Sunday, Lochte and three of his Team USA swim colleagues said they were robbed at gunpoint, with Lochte claiming their cab was pulled over by men impersonating Brazilian police. Lochte then said one of the men pointed a gun to his forehead and robbed the men of their cash.
After several days of digging, Rio authorities found the narrative was fabricated and discovered the men vandalized a nearby gas station after a pit stop.
In his apology, Lochte said he should have been more “careful and candid” when he described Sunday’s timeline of events. He accepted responsibility for playing a role in the story, which has taken coverage away from other athletes competing to fulfill life-long dreams.
But Lochte is still holding onto his robbery story, writing: “Its traumatic to be out late with your friends in a foreign country-with a language barrier-and have a stranger point a gun at you and demand money to let you leave…”
He ended the note accepting responsibility for his behavior and apologized to his family, teammates, the Olympic committee, and the people of Brazil.
To his lengthy post, Twitter said no. Users floated the hashtag #Lochtegate in response to the drama, and Black Twitter, in particular wasn’t pleased.
Some compared the trolling Gabby Douglas received for not placing her hand over her heart during the National Anthem as a perfect example of misdirected outrage. Others just said Lochte’s apology simply came too late.
Lochte and fellow teammate Jimmy Feigen were charged with falsely reporting a crime by Brazilian authorities on Thursday after a whirlwind week of accusations and retractions in regards to the narrative Lochte gave earlier in the week.
According to The New York Times, Lochte’s teammates told police under sworn testimony that Lochte was drunk and disorderly on the night in question, caused damage in the Brazilian gas station, and also misinterpreted what occurred on Sunday night.
Feigen was ordered to stay in Brazil, but will be released after he and his attorney agreed to donate $10,800 dollars to a non-profit judo academy for low-income kids and teens in Rio, NBC News reports.