I’ll keep this one (relatively) short and simple.
We have 2 Olympic athletes: Gabby Douglas and Ryan Lochte. Both made headlines for reasons that had nothing to do with their respective sports.
Gabby Douglas forgot to put her hand on her heart during the national anthem and didn’t look enthusiastic enough in cheering one of her teammates.
Ryan Lochte drunkenly trashed a gas station restroom and then lied about it, seeking to frame innocent people for threatening his life.
Gabby Douglas, a 20 year-old, has had her character stomped all over, been relentlessly harassed, and just generally been completely torn down.
Ryan Lochte, a 32 year-old, has been protected, had his actions rationalized and will probably have all of this forgotten about well before the 2020 olympic games (…hell…probably before these 2016 games are over).
Fact of the matter is, we see this all the time in how Black people are vilified over the smallest infractions, where white people (especially men) are given a pass for even the shittiest of behavior. It happens in our schools, and “justice” system, etc. Because Black people are seen as far less human, we get absolutely no room to have a bad day, or present as mad and/or unhappy (and conversely, we can’t be TOO happy, lest we be seen as arrogant). Conversely, because whiteness is coddled within a white supremacist system, white people can always rely on there being some kind of rationalization for their actions, no matter how egregious. It shows in how unarmed Black people, with no benefit of due process, get executed by cops everyday, while a white person who murders 9 Black people in a church is treated to Burger King before being taken to jail, alive and in one piece.
Then we have to add in the factor of gender. Male privilege means white men will be granted additional coddling for just about any of their actions. Meanwhile, women, who are seen as “irrational” by default don’t get such coddling. Then add in the additional dehumanization of Blackness, and the world is basically just waiting, with bated breath, for the first opportunity bury a Black Woman.
Hence, what we’ve seen with these two athletes. It’s a tale as old as time…it’s just interesting to see that dichotomy play out between two people in the same, major event.