Barzeen Soroudi and Sam Sotoodeh, who were detained and held overnight for trespassing after ambushing the embattled Olympic swimmer during Monday's DWTS season 23 premiere, spoke with reporters after being released from jail on Tuesday, and defended their protest.
"Our purpose is to get the message out that Lochte is a coward, a liar, and under Brazilian law, a criminal," Sotoodeh, 59, told numerous media outlets, referring to the scandal surrounding Lochte's false report of being robbed at gunpoint at a Rio de Janeiro gas station during the Olympic Games in August.
Both men stated that they had no intention of physically harming Lochte, calling their action a "non-violent protest." Sotoodeh, who was tackled by security, criticized DWTS for its handling of the situation.
"I don't understand why the people there did that. I wasn't even going towards Lochte, I was going in a different direction," he argued, claiming that the incident left him with bruises on his arms and back along with neck pain.
According to Soroudi, 25, the men were protesting ABC and the Walt Disney Company for "choosing Lochte to represent Americans."
"Yes, he did receive gold medals, but what he did in Rio did not represent Americans well," Soroudi added.
According to the two men, they both attended the Rio Olympics and claim that Lochte's accusations of robbery caused a social "climate change" that led to Americans becoming "targets."
"The Brazilians felt insulted and it became very difficult for Americans there," Soroudi said.
"I want the world to know, I want America to know, that we don't take what he did lightly," he continued. "He embarrassed Americans on the world's stage and this was our form of protesting."
Soroudi went on to say that he has no regrets about his protest, even though it meant spending a night in jail, adding that he "wouldn't mind going back."
The LAPD told ET that Sotoodeh and Soroudi did not have tickets to the show's taping. After their arrest, the men were booked for trespassing, and transported to Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles, California, where they were held overnight. The protesters were released from police custody at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, with a court date set for Oct. 4.
According to Lochte's dance partner, two-time champ Cheryl Burke, the swimmer's ankle was injured during the incident as security tackled the protestors. Despite Lochte being disheartened by the event, Burke said they are trying to move forward and focus on the coming weeks. However, she admitted that it "will probably take us a few weeks to put this incident behind us."
See what Lochte told ET following the DWTS drama in the exclusive interview below.