The Olympic flame isn’t even all the way cold yet and Ryan Lotche is trying to get back into our lives and social media feeds. It hasn’t even been a YEAR YET! And yes, August 2016 seems like it was so long ago… a simpler time in life when a sane, competent (BLACK) man was still running “the free world.” But those times are no more…. and here comes Ryan Lotche back again!
With the smell of white privilege and chlorine still on him, the disgraced 12-time Olympic Medalist swimmer, Ryan Lotche has been in the process of rehabbing his national image in a new advertising commercial for “Powerbar.” Lotche has been serving a 10-month suspension, since making false statements following his involvement in the gas station incident during the Rio Olympics. He will also be ineligible for the 2017 world championship meet and will have to forfeit all United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and USA Swimming medal funding for the gold medal he earned for the men’s 4×200 freestyle relay in Rio. Other sanctions against Lochte include: no monthly stipend and no direct support or access to USOC training facilities during his suspension. Lochte will also have to perform 20 hours of community service.
All of these consequences were set in early September, only 6 months prior to now. So, after losing millions of dollars in funding and endorsements, it seems befitting that in the short term memory of the American news cycles, Lotche is ready to turn his problematic scumbag image back into the lovable back-stroking bad-boy America knows and loves.
And yet it all seems too damn soon. There’s just still too much stench of white privilege in the air. Ryan Lotche used the economic and social struggle, along with the notorious global perception of Brazil’s governmental dilemmas to further engross himself in reckless choices, with clear intention to shift the blame to Brazilian sub-culture. Thus furthering a false narrative of white fragility in a “savage land of brown people.” In layman’s terms, Lochte tried! And Brazil wasn’t having it. Presumably he thought poor, third-world brown people didn’t have cell phones and closed circuit cameras. Surprise! They do! And then in typical white egotistical behavior, he immediately hopped on the first flight out of town, following his bogus story to Billy Bush on NBC, leaving his less known teammates to answer all the real questions.
More than anything, it just makes the attempt at a quirky “Redemption” campaign less humorous and more squeamishly uncomfortable. Like if Jello made new Cosby Pudding Pop commercials. Okay, maybe not that bad, but not far behind.
“Cute, lovable and funny” commercials are not where Ryan Lochte needs to start; authentic contrition and service would be more appropriate.
But here… Watch and you be the judge.