Ryan Lochte and Colin Kaepernick. Two tales. Two situations. Two Americas.
For Ryan Lochte, it has been his fabricated story on how he along with fellow U.S. Swimmers Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz, and Jack Congar got robbed at a gas station in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil during the 2016 Olympics. When in fact, they were taking place in an act of hooliganry.
As for Colin Kaepernick, he decided to sit out during the National Anthem in protest before the 49ers preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. The reason for his protest? In short here are two of his quotes.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,"
"To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
The reactions from the general public on each situation have been interesting. I’d go as far as to say, it has been disparaging. First, let’s quickly analyze each situation.
Ryan Lochte acted like a hooligan.
He was the ringleader of foolishness. Vandalizing property, disturbing the peace, and lying about what happened. Also, he’s a terrible friend and teammate for leaving Congar, Bentz, and Feigen high and dry in Rio while he sits around and makes Vines all day. He is 32 years old hanging out with guys who are nearly a decade younger than him. You have Carmelo Anthony who is the same age kicking it with people who live in favelas. Meanwhile, Lochte is out here lying to everyone (including his mom) because “he didn’t want to get in trouble.” That’s something my 10 year old brother would say. It’s kind of funny to be honest. It feels like a WWE mid-card storyline that ends up being laughably bad to the point where it needs to be ended with little explanation.
Colin Kaepernick acted pretty…bold.
The national anthem is something that most Americans are passionate about along with the American flag and our U.S. veterans. He feels as though the concept of the Star Spangled Banner does not apply to people like him who are Black or POC. He will also continue to sit during the anthem until things change involving issues such as police brutality (or institutional racism as a whole). That’s HIS way of making a stand for change. Not being afraid to use his platform in order to start some type of conversation or being a voice for the “voiceless” (word to CM Punk). Now you don’t have to agree with how he did it (I don't know if I would have done the same), but in a country where we preach the idea to speak our minds or do whatever it takes to fight for justice and freedom, you should respect that effort. And to be clear, he’s not lying about how race relations have been (I’ll also note that making millions has nothing to do with experiencing racism and he’s not doing it for HIMSELF).
If you look at the reactions from these two situations, what do you get? For Lochte you get “kids are being kids” from IOC reps. For Kaep you get videos of his jersey being burned.
Lochte? You’ll get a Sporting News article where the capes are on tighter than Superman’s. Kaep? You have guys like Clay Travis burying him.
Not many Olympians called out Lochte for his foolishness but you have New York Giants players call out Kaep for his actions as opposed to calling out their own teammate for domestic violence issues (note; majority of NFL players are in support of Kaep).
Lochte will continue on life as he pleases, even though he could get indicted by the court in Brazil. Kaep may get cut from the 49ers for football reasons and may never play again for the same reasons in addition to teams potentially not wanting backlash.
Lochte lost endorsements and already picked up a few. Kaep might lose them all period.
See. I honestly wanted to keep the Lochte situation as jokes only because it was simply a story on how three dummies followed big dummy (word to Redd Foxx). However, my hand was forced to look at this case of privilege.
Jeah! I said it. Jeah! I activated the “race card” from my deck!
Well news flash, in comparing this situation we have to talk about race and the obvious privilege in this scenario. We can’t be coy, “politically correct”, quiet, or play “we got to hear from both sides” esque type of shenanigans.
It’s the type of privilege that allows us to say Lochte and the kids were just joshing around with little to no clear explanation for their actions. While Kaep is being vilified for thoroughly explained actions. Actions which many believe is disrespect towards the Veterans who fight for this country (remember that sentence).
We’re so caught up in policing patriotism that we’re blind to the fact that during the greatest worldwide sporting period, one of our best athletes made a mockery of a country which had already fell under hard times and an organization in the IOC that had already been scrutinize. We’re the United States of America. Aren’t we supposed to uphold some type of class and respect? Why aren’t we getting on Lochte more for this buffoonery but we’re ready to police and riot against Gabby Douglass for not putting her hand over her heart during the anthem?
Lochte gets a soft pass because he’s a white male. The most powerful being on the planet. White men can nearly do whatever they want because it’s been that way for hundreds of years. And this isn’t to shade to anyone I personally know. It just needs to be known that White men have freer reign over any anyone in the world.
I’m not saying for example, “your hard work in whatever you do is discounted because you’re a White male”, I’m saying you need to recognize that most of the time, the world isn’t equal to everyone as one may think and that White men are likely to get ahead than say someone who looks like any of the Final Five gymnastics team from the Olympics.
Before I conclude, there are some questions I have for people in regards to these two situations. I’d like to hear some thought out and honest answers. I don’t want nonsense.
How did Kaepernick disrespect the vets by sitting out during the national anthem? Does the anthem, flag, and vets coincide with each other? I can argue that what Lochte did was more disrespectful to the Vets.
If you disagree with how Kaepernick decided to make a stand that’s fine, but what would be a better suggestion? Some say Michael Jordan, Michael Bennett, and the Brotherhood did it the “right way” and I applaud them for what they’re doing. However, how much of a stand are they really taking if they won’t face ramifications for their actions like Kaepernick or even Ethiopian Silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa will? They don’t spark as much dialog or thought provoking as the latter two either.
Do you believe politics/sports are separate entities or are they one in the same and why? I believe they are one in the same. And there are plenty of examples out there. Like the setup of the Olympics itself.
Speaking of the Olympics, how would you feel if you were one of those citizens in Brazil and you heard about some “stupid American” trying indirectly throw more dirt on your name as a country?
Lastly, if Kaep and Lochte reversed roles would your feelings change on the situations? The trick here is, if you still feel volatile on the subject if Lochte were Kaep, then you failed to miss the point or even listen to the explanation on why it’s being done.
With that said, I was just like many of you stanning during the Olympics when our country dominated. And the ideals/values of what this country is supposed to stand for and what we try to advertise is a great thing. One day, I hope we can get to the point where freedom, liberty, and justice is for ALL.
Not just half-assing it.
This isn’t about someone making “headlines,” or trying to riot on another, this is about taking a look at the different situations while noting the hypocrisy.
With everything that’s going on, you can even say it feels like the 60s again in some cases. Specifically 1968, like Bryan Curtis eloquently stated in his piece. The points and questions are all laid out for you. Either take in everything you’ve heard or read and join in the conversation with me from time to time or just tell me straight up, you don’t care.
Seriously, because I’d rather hear that and we go from there then you continuing to justify nonsense. With that said, at the end of the day, there will be a price to pay.
It’s just less likely that someone like Lochte will as opposed to someone like Kaepernick.
Welcome to the AD report.