Lochte lies, lessons in honesty

Ryan_Lochte_at_2013_Zajac
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons @Ubcwwong

Sunday morning, see a story about Ryan Lochte and three other Team USA swimmers being held up at gunpoint. I think “wow, how terrifying.”

Yesterday, I see stories that the Brazilian authorities don’t believe the story, and I think “how corrupt is this country!”

But then the stories start to conflict, swimmers start to backtrack (back stroke?).

Then we see that there is camera footage of the swimmers returning, the alleged cab they took can’t be found. There’s no evidence to back up their story.

In an initial television interview, Lochte had said:

We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over,” Lochte said. “They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground — they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like we didn’t do anything wrong, so — I’m not getting down on the ground.

“And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, ‘Get down,’ and I put my hands up, I was like ‘whatever.’

When I first read that, while thinking that they had legitimately been robbed, I thought “Wow. That guy is dense.”

But none of it seems to be true.

We can criticize Brazilian authorities and say they’re corrupt.

But that begs the question “why did the swimmers say they were robbed?”

It made no sense.

Yet this morning, we may finally have a reason.

The Daily Mail (not the world’s most credible news site) says that they had actually destroyed a gas station bathroom, the gas station employees demanded they pay for damages, the swimmers refuse, a security guard pulled a gun, they gave money.

If that’s true, that would explain everything.

It would also mean that the swimmers were lying.

Not only were they lying, but it would be a case of the lie being worse than the offense.

A group of guys go out, act foolishly and do some property damage in another country….not great, but so what.

But if they lied about being robbed. And continue to hold to the lie. Again, lying about what happened is even worse than what actually happened. If they had told the truth from the beginning, no one would have cared.

But now, it shows the lack of integrity. And the one who especially looks bad is Lochte. He’s the name everyone knows. And again, he’s the one who said:

We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a badge, a police badge, no lights, no nothing just a police badge and they pulled us over,” Lochte said. “They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground — they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like we didn’t do anything wrong, so — I’m not getting down on the ground.

“And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, ‘Get down,’ and I put my hands up, I was like ‘whatever.’

If that’s not true, not only did he lie, but he had to tell a lie that made him out to be a cowboy. That guns were pointed, he didn’t even care. Gun pointed at his head, he was totally indifferent.

In his lie, he threw the other swimmers under the bus. They all got down, he was too brave to do that. And in reality, he also abandoned them by coming back to the states early while his teammates are detained in Brazil.

The lie is worse than the truth. Lochte is one of the best American swimmers of all time (obviously behind Phelps). And because of a series of poor decisions, he’s cost himself a lot of money and his integrity has taken a massive hit.

Obviously this isn’t the worst thing in the world. This will die down in a couple of days. But this lie will stay with these guys. And it all could have been avoided if they had (well, not destroyed the bathroom in the first place) just told the truth from the start.

jrb

Photo credit: https://www.evernote.com/l/AE3JnzgfnBJHLIHB5heik8oBThAlP4l21tY

 

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