Ryan Lochte just lost the Speedo sponsorship deal due to Lochtegate, reports Sports Illustrated. It’s turning out to be the Tiger Woods scandal again, where sponsor after sponsor would drop the golf champion like a hot potato. Now, it’s happening to Ryan Lochte, but how does the Olympic swimmer feel about it?
As the athlete ponders just how much he is losing money-wise, Ralph Lauren likewise just announced that it’s dropping Ryan Lochte, too, says BBC News.
Judging from his recent apology on Twitter and Instagram, the Olympic athlete, who is only second to Michael Phelps in rank, is not sorry enough for his sins. Even though he apologized profusely for lying that he and his fellow swimming athletes were robbed at gunpoint at a petrol gas station in Rio de Janeiro, the apology still portrayed Ryan Lochte as a victim, according to NBC News.
From the point of view of the National Post, however, Ryan Lochte seemed to blame the lie mostly not on himself but the booze. But in the final analysis, it does appear that the star athlete owned up to his mistakes, as follows.
“I over-exaggerated that story. If I had never done that, we would never be in this mess. Those guys would never (still) be in Rio — or were in Rio. None of this would’ve happened. It was my immature behaviour.”
No witch-hunting is necessary, as it appears that Ryan Lochte genuinely knows that he had made a terrible mistake. Hence, it’s highly likely that he knows what would be the consequences of his actions such as loss of sponsorship deals that directly impacts his livelihood as a U.S. athlete.
News of Speedo withdrawing its sponsorship of Ryan Lochte has also been reported by CTV News and CBC News. In the coming days, there will be more news similar to this. Scandals where the celebrity or celebrities responsible are clearly at fault often give way to a deluge of sponsorship withdrawals. It’s clear that Lochte will be in hot waters for a while.
Sponsors like Speedo, Nike, Adidas, and many other companies always base their decision on the credibility and reputation of the individual. If so, awarding and withdrawing sponsorship will be guided by the same principle. Companies spend big bucks on sponsoring individuals because the reputation of these persons has a halo effect on the firms’ major brands. Ryan Lochte has a lot of sponsors.
Instead of continuing to fatten Lochte’s wallet, Speedo also announced through the Guardian that it is donating a portion of the money for sponsoring the athlete to charity. Time weighs in on how much more backlash is to be expected from the rash of negative publicity that the Rio Olympics incident has unleashed for America’s famous swimmer. Take note that despite Ryan Lochte’s apology, his sponsors are still dropping him quickly.
All of a sudden, it was as if Lochte has caught some deadly communicable disease that nobody wants to catch. But it’s not likely that the damage will be just limited to the confines of the Ryan Lochte persona. Like a virus, the guys who were with the athlete on their drunken spree in Rio are likely to be affected, too. These are Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, and Jimmy Feigen.
These guys are only in their 20s as compared to Ryan Lochte, who is 32-years-old. While he is already contemplating retiring, the other guys are only beginning their quest for Olympic gold. Too bad, then, that they have been sucked into Lochtegate. Here’s hoping that another ugly consequence of lying doesn’t rear its ugly head in the next few days for the Fantastic Four: de-medaling.
Ryan Lochte snagged one gold medal from the 2016 Rio Olympics in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay.
With the costly consequences of lying unfolding before the world’s very eyes, it appears that the scandal that Ryan Lochte’s actions have unleashed will not go unpunished one way or another. So there’s a moral lesson for us all in this scandal: Never, ever lie. Just tell the truth. It’s a lot easier.
[Photo by Harry How/Getty Images]