"Proofs" Based on a Bad Reputation
by lulumgomes on September 18, 2017 - 1:35am
I decided to do a small throwback to last year’s Summer Olympics that took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and talk about this article that was written by Hasani Gittens and published in NBC News, August 14th 2016. This article explains how Ryan Lochte, a member of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team, was robbed in Brazil after a night-out with his other teammates. According to Locthe and the other swimmers present, they were stopped after they left club France House (early Sunday morning), and were headed for the Olympic village, by guys with a police badge. These guys pulled out their guns and told the swimmers to get down on the floor before taking their money and wallets.
Now, this article would have been completely fine if the author did not jump into conclusions before the Brazilian authorities made their investigation on this matter. In fact, as soon as Locthe made the claims that he was robbed at gunpoint the news was blowing up with his story. However, it did not take much time before it was proven that Lochte’s story was fabricated (this article was also published by NBC News, explaining this situation). What really happened was that the swimmers stopped at a gas station, where they broke the door of an outside bathroom, after failing to open it for the first time. An armed security guard then appeared (he never took out or pointed the gun at the swimmers), and with the manager asked the swimmers to pay for the broken door, where they agreed to pay an unknown amount of money and left the station.
This article did hurt and infuriate me, because the situation was presented as a fact and not as something that needed more investigation. I was born in Brazil and I spent the majority of my childhood there, and to know that the media is so quick to believe such story about my country is sad. I feel like often all the media talks about my country is the corruption, the poverty and the crime rate. In my opinion, the fact that these topics are so prominent when talking about Brazil is what made journalists to so easily believe that Lochte’s allegations were true. Although those topics are issues that are real and need to be addressed, they do not define my country.