'No one deserves that sort of behavior,' she writes of stage incident

By Oliver Gettell
Updated September 13, 2016 at 10:05 PM EDT
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Dancing With the Stars

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Dancing With the Stars pro Cheryl Burke is voicing support for partner Ryan Lochte a day after two men rushed the stage to protest the controversial Olympic swimmer during the show’s premiere.

“I’m still trying to process everything that happened last night,” Burke wrote on her Facebook page Tuesday. “My heart is aching for Ryan and his family. No one deserves that sort of behavior directed at them. We all need to love each other and not be bullies or cowards.”

She went on to thank the DWTS security team, which sprang into action during the ordeal.

Lochte admitted to embellishing his account of being robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro this summer. He was subsequently suspended by the International Olympic Committee for 10 months and forced to give up $100,000 in bonuses, and he will miss the 2017 world swimming championships.

In a recent interview with EW that took place before the incident, Burke said she hoped Lochte would find some redemption on DWTS. “I really hope America can give Ryan a second chance,” she said, “because I do think he truly does deserve it.”

Burke and Lochte were expected to get back to work on the show Tuesday. Read Burke’s full message below.

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Dancing With the Stars

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