ESPN sports writer Kevin Van Valkenburg decided that the controversy on whether or not U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte was robbed at gunpoint is a case of “white privilege.”
Because what isn’t these days?
While bloviating over his PC explanation, he proceeded to get many of his facts wrong.
Van Valkenburg, a white guy, titled his piece “Dear Fellow White People,” and attacked Ryan Lochte for his purported “privilege” because he “exaggerated” the details of what happened to him and three other U.S. swimmers at a gas station in Rio.
Van Valkenburg’s chief contention is that if Lochte were black the whole thing would have been much more of a scandal.
Try to imagine, just for a second, what the world’s reaction would be if a black athlete got drunk, urinated in public, destroyed some property, then concocted a story in which he bravely stood up to someone with a gun who was attempting to rob him and his friends.
Then, when his whole story fell apart, ask yourself if it would be brushed off as an example of a “kid” making a relatively harmless mistake or become fodder for countless jokes.
We’ve since discovered that many of these “facts” Van Valkenburg ascribed to the incident are false.
For instance, it is now widely assumed that the claim that the swimmers destroyed property is a tale made up out of whole cloth by the police in Rio. It is also now thought that the “security guard” at the gas station drew his gun, held the swimmers at gunpoint, and demanded they give him money — that sounds suspiciously like the robbery Lochte described in the first place.
And worse, Van Valkenburg completely ignored the fact that some of the swimmers were held hostage by the Brazilian government and at least one was forced to pay a ransom of $10,000 to get his legal passport back. That is also an outrageous act of robbery, isn’t it?
Later in his piece Van Valkenburg tries to insist that black U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas was treated worse than Lochte, but the two situations are too different to draw a logical parallel. As the Daily Caller’s David Hookstead notes, “An athlete not respecting the anthem is inappropriate, but it’s not a crisis. American athletes being robbed and held hostage, and then being accused of lying is a serious problem.”
Finally, Lochte has lost nearly all of his endorsements meaning he has now lost most of his income. That doesn’t sound much like any “privilege” was extended to him, does it?
Folks on Twitter are also enraged by Kevin Van Valkenburg’s off base claim that Lochte is filled with “white privilege.”
And @KVanValkenburg, is it “white privilege” that Lochte lost all of his sponsorships? Even though his version is turning out to be true?
— Oregon Conservative (@ORConservative) August 24, 2016
The media – @sallyjenx, author of “Dear Fellow White People,” @KVanValkenburg, etc – owe @RyanLochte an apology https://t.co/AJPn50jLNW
— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) August 25, 2016
@KVanValkenburg Black Privilege: when criminal BLM thugs threaten to kill all cops and whites as liberals laude their righteous cause.
— Conservative Depot (@RonnieReagan80) August 23, 2016
@KVanValkenburg If you are going to write about race, don’t make shit up. The idea that Lochte was given a pass is ludicrous.
— Stop Islam (@SavageInfidel99) August 24, 2016
@KVanValkenburg @TheUndefeated You trying to make a run at Eric Adelson for Social Justice Warrior Sportswriter of the Year?
— Rosco Roberts (@RoscoRoberts1) August 24, 2016
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