Ryan Lochte Responds To The 'Dancing With The Stars' Protesters By Not Mentioning Them At All
During Monday's Dancing with the Stars Season 23 premiere, two individuals rushed the stage towards Ryan Lochte after he completed his first ballroom dance with partner Cheryl Burke. After the incident, a spokesperson for DWTS' distributor BBC Worldwide Productions released a statement to Bustle and said, "Two individuals stormed the dance floor tonight and were immediately subdued and escorted out of the building. The matter is now being handled by the authorities." On Wednesday, Ryan Lochte commented on the DWTS incident for the first time with a statement he shared via Twitter. It reads in its entirety:
I want to thank my family, girlfriend, friends and fans for being so supportive of me after the incident on Dancing with the Stars Monday night. When I was asked to do the show, the one thing that I kept hearing was that it was like joining a big family. After Monday's incident, I now know what that means. I have gotten so much love from everyone on the show, including my partner Cheryl, my fellow competitors, the produces, the security team and its fans. I appreciate the opportunity to be part of the show, and more than ever, I am dedicated to my new family and to working hard to do my best.
What's interesting about Lochte's response is how he doesn't mention any details about what exactly happened, nor does he comment directly on the protesters who stormed the stage. Based on his statement, it appears the 32-year-old Olympic swimmer is choosing to put a more positive spin on it. Seeing as how he's redirecting the focus to his appreciation for everyone who's shown him support and now the "family" he's made at DWTS, it goes to show you that Lochte doesn't seem to dwelling on the negative. Rather, it looks like he's moving on from it all and is choosing to focus on what's ahead for him on the ABC reality competition.
For those unaware, KABC-7 reported Monday that two Los Angeles men named Barzeen Soroudi and Sam Sotoodeh were both booked on trespassing charges for storming the stage. On Wednesday, Good Morning America revealed both men were released from the Los Angeles Police Department Metropolitan Detention Center Tuesday with a bail set at $1,000 each. Neither have entered a plea, but they are scheduled to appear in court Oct. 4.
On Tuesday, Soroudi and Sotoodeh spoke with TMZ about their actions after being released and said, "We didn’t, obviously, agree with Walt Disney Company choosing Lochte to represent Americans. Yes, he did receive gold medals but what he did in Rio did not represent Americans well." They added, "We were actually at the Olympics, so what happened was… once Lochte did what he did, embarrassed Americans, lied to Brazil… the climate changed. So all the sudden, Americans became targets in Rio. The Brazilians obviously felt insulted and it became very difficult for many Americans there."