The Olympics are over, but the personal fallout for Ryan Lochte over #Lochtegate and his drunken night out that led to an international incident has just begun. Today, several of his sponsors like Ralph Lauren and Speedo dropped him. Late night host like John Oliver and Stephen Colbert keep roasting him. Because of some poor choices from getting drunk to tearing down a gas station sign that led to a standoff with Rio security guards to then “overexaggerating” what really happened in TV interviews, Lochte became the most hated and ridiculed man in the world. For sure, his actions were irresponsible. He deserves to experience all the consequences from his recklessness.
However, let’s step back and give this some perspective. He didn’t kill anyone. There comes a point when people are just piling on Ryan Lochte. His teammate, Michael Phelps, went through a couple DUI arrests and rehab. Phelps recently disclosed that this time of turmoil in his life led to some dark places that had him contemplating suicide. He credits his family and friends like former NFL player, Ray Lewis, for helping him find his purpose. People gave him another chance and he has made the most of it so far. He was victorious in Rio and was not among the swimmers involved in the scandal.
At some point soon, when the media moves on to the next celebrity scandal, Ryan Lochte is going to need love, support and forgiveness. The last thing we would want is for him to spiral into depression and think about taking his life like Michael Phelps did. After all, he is human like all of us and we should help empower him to be a better man. There is still hope for Ryan Lochte so let’s help him find it.