Cheryl Burke addresses Ryan Lochte protester incident: ‘We all need to love each other’

Cheryl Burke arrives for the 42nd annual People's Choice Awards on January 6, 2016. The "Dancing with the Stars" professional has addressed the recent incident involving her new celebrity partner Ryan Lochte on social media. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 14 (UPI) — Cheryl Burke has taken to social media to address the recent protester ambush aimed at her new “Dancing with the Stars” partner Ryan Lochte.

“Thank you to everyone for your concern. I’m still trying to process everything that happened last night. My heart is aching for Ryan and his family. No one deserves that sort of behavior directed at them,” the ‘DWTS’ professional wrote on Instagram Tuesday.

“We all need to love each other and not be bullies or cowards. Let’s all just be positive for each other. My heartfelt thanks goes out to the security team at ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ Love you all, Xoxo Cheryl.” she continued.

Originally, a pair of protesters rushed the stage wearing anti Lochte t-shirts during the Monday premiere of DWTS as Burke and the Olympic swimmer were receiving their scores from the judges. Security was able to tackle and detain the men off camera as the show moved to a commercial break.

“It’s hard. I’m getting over it though,” Lochte said of the incident afterwards to E! News. “It honestly feels like someone reached inside, took out my heart out and just stepped on it.”

The protest stems from Lochte’s highly-publicized Olympic Games incident in Rio de Janeiro when he lied about being robbed in order to cover up vandalism he and other members of the U.S. swim team allegedly committed at a gas station in Brazil.

Recently, the International Olympic Committee, United States Olympic Committee and USA Swimming suspended Lochte for 10 months, leaving him unable to compete in next year’s world championship in Hungary.


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