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Protesters Ambush Ryan Lochte During ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Premiere

September 13, 2016

ABC's "Dancing With the Stars": Season 23 - Season PremiereABC's "Dancing With the Stars": Season 23 - Season Premiere
Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte (right) appears on ABC's Dancing With The Stars with his dance partner Cheryl Burke (center) and host Tom Bergeron.Photograph by Eric McCandless—ABC via Getty Images

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The 23rd season of Dancing With The Stars premiered Monday night. And it didn’t go quite as planned.

The premiere featured Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, who was suspended for 10 months after fabricating an armed robbery during the Rio Olympics. But surely no one anticipated that the event would warrant disruptive protest.

E! News and other outlets report that just before Lochte and his partner Cheryl Burke were to be judged, “men wearing white anti-Lochte T-shirts” rushed the stage. Security personnel stabilized the situation.


E! News also reports that there was apparently a whole coterie of protesters wearing the anti-Lochte shirts in the audience. Afterwards, the swimmer said he was “a little hurt.”

“I came out here and I wanted to do something I was completely uncomfortable with, and I did,” he said.

Two men were arrested after being led away from the scene in handcuffs, ABC reports. One of the men called Lochte a “liar.” Authorities are now addressing the matter.