Oh, no. YOU are reading “disrespect” into a situation that operates a lot like a Rorshach test for…
Malby Lewis

First, thank you for being so brave to respond to this post. I recognize the courage it must have taken YOU to respond so thoughtfully, devoid of emotion.


Let’s look at your response, point by point:

about half the people in the US were taught to stand at attention
  • Gabby is from Virginia Beach, Virginia. She went to school there clear up until High School. She was taught to hold her hand over her heart. I think she held her hand over her heart in 2012.
  • This is beside the point. I already mentioned that Olympic athletes hold their hands behind their back and in front of them if they are holding a medal. Her hand placement is excused, it only brought her attention because all of her teammates had their heart crossed. Now, if they had agreed on a pose to look uniform beforehand and if Gabby had willingly objected, then that’s a different matter.
  • Also, when you shrug your shoulders and your knees are bent, that is not standing at attention. In combination with her looking away, it appears awfully unpatriotic. See knee bent, shoulder shrugged:
As for her “looking around,” you have no idea what emotions she was experiencing
  • Correct and neither do you. There could have been someone in the audience, there could be something going on. In this case, it didn’t matter, the appropriate thing to do is recognize 1)Country and 2)Accomplishment— the Star Spangled Banner is a time of honor, for all those that have given their lives and made sacrifices to make our country what it is, affording Gabby the opportunities to be in her position; the National Anthem is not a time to feel sorry, or scan the crowd, or think about dinner.
    If she was hurt, it’d be a different story and she didn’t say she was in follow-up conversations, so we can assume that wasn’t an issue. All she came out and said was, “I’m sorry if I offended anyone” because that wasn’t her intention. This is fine — what more could she do? — at least she recognizes the backlash. She should have taken the opportunity to address how she believes Olympians should behave on the podium, but whatever.
The fact that you feel it necessary to question someone who has worked her whole life to represent her country is disturbing and arrogant
  • I’m sorry, do you know Gabby? I missed that part. I also missed where you know her intentions and her back story.
  • The fact that you jump to conclusion to call names at someone is more disturbing and arrogant. It’s worse than that, it’s ignorant. I’ll add stupid and irresponsible. Please come clean and describe how you know what she’s worked her whole life to do.
  • Many Olympians don’t work their whole life to represent their country; they work their whole life to represent themselves, to prosper, to be the best they can be, to get a pay check. When they are good enough, they are put in a position where they might be an elite caliber to compete on the national scale. When they are recognized as better than their competition, they are invited to represent their country — when they accept, that’s when they are working to represent their country — the work up until then is to represent themselves and for the opportunity to represent their country. Only when they’ve been invited and have accepted is the work that put in toward representing their country (and at the same time, they’re representing themselves).
I imagine that Ryan Lochte satisfied all your flag-pin patriotism tests
  • That is off point, why don’t you also bring up Bill Clinton? The topic at hand is Gabby Douglas [see below for some preliminary Lochte feelings]


If you must know, I didn’t particularly like Lochte during the last Olympics. There was nothing then that stood out, so that was primarily perception and intuition.

His recent actions is something more concrete. One could argue that he was drunk and his events were over, so his actions were on personal time. I would argue that his trip to Rio was for the Olympics, so while he’s there, he’s representing the country for the duration of the Olympics, until the Olympics are over. He’s representing the USA when he’s competing, as well as before and after his events. It’s an honor to be there, not a vacation.

So personally, I think the position he and his comrades put officials in is a much worse thing than what G.Douglas did by comparison.

Brazilian Response

I think the Brazilians went easy on Lochte, given the destruction of property and public intoxication, which may or may not be laws in that locale. Ordinary citizens and visitors would probably be held accountable for similar crimes.


As for his story, he was drunk and his story wasn’t entirely off. He was in a gas station and someone pointed a gun at him and the driver to get out of the car. If he was drunk, I think he would get a pass for whether or not he was misleading officials — remember he called the police, he reported a crime, he didn’t have a real reason to do that if he didn’t think one occurred (just so happens that he was stupid and committed a few himself).

Ryan Lochte is Not Gabby Douglas

If I wanted to comment on this and get more into the analysis of Lochte, I would respond to a post by someone else, discussing him instead of using him as a scape goat when analyzing Gabby Douglas…

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Neverender’s story.