Ryan Lochte Apologizes for Actions in Rio

August 21st 2016

Aron Macarow

Many people, from everyday sports fans to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D - Calif.), have been calling on Ryan Lochte to apologize for #LochteGate. The 12-time Olympic gold medalist finally wrote out a statement of regret, but it appears that the public isn't buying it.

Lochte took to Twitter to apologize on Friday, and followed his tweet with an attempt to explain his actions via a televised interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, which aired Saturday night.

Angry tweets using #IBlameAlcoholFor zeroed in on what some felt was Lochte dodging responsibility again.

Meanwhile, others focused on the "bro culture" and privilege that allowed him to escape his actions unscathed, even linking the swimmers's response to another athlete who recently blamed alcohol for his actions: Brock Turner.

What did Lochte say in the interview that provoked this response?

During the conversation, Lochte admitted to Lauer that he had "definitely had too much to drink." More so, he seemed to suggest that consuming too much alcohol was the cause of his behavior. 

"It was still hours after the incident. I was still intoxicated," the Olympic swimmer told Lauer when asked why he lied about a gun being pressed to his forehead at a gas station in Rio de Janeiro last weekend.

There are differences between Lochte's apology and Brock Turner's. Lochte specifically says that being intoxicated isn't "an excuse" in the interview, while Turner's court statement clearly blames alcohol and Stanford University's party culture for the rape that he committed. But there is a common theme: a sports culture that privileges high-performing male athletes, excusing behavior that would be questioned in others.

What remains to be seen is whether Lochte will continue to get a pass for his behavior or if he'll have to take more responsibility for his actions.

Watch the full interview below: