He did it on the web, and the web reacted.
American swimmer Ryan Lochte has had a lot of success in the pool. A bit less, lately, online.
After posting an apology on Instagram and then Twitter, it was parsed, largely because people said it didn’t go far enough.
At the center of this maelstrom is a late-night incident at a Rio gas station that the 12-time medalist insists was a robbery. Brazilian police, however, said Lochte and three other swimmers vandalized a bathroom and were confronted by armed security guards before they paid for the damage and left.
We showed Lochte's post to branding expert Jeff Holmes of a San Jose-based marketing company, 3 Marketeers.
"Every time he comments, he's in the media for another 24 hours. If he would stop, make his apology, it could go away," Holmes said.
He has a point.
Even Lochte pointed out that “there has already been too much said …”
But Holmes has a larger point.
Calling Lochte Gate the worst part of an otherwise successful games, he says Lochte did himself irreparable damage. The hashtag #LochMess even went viral on Twitter on Thursday.
“He's got the look, he's got the medals, he's got all that going for him, but he lacks integrity," says Holmes. "What brand is gonna want to stand behind somebody who doesn't have integrity?"
Scott swims through Twitter: @scottbudman