Shaun White’s snowboarding gold overshadowed by harassment allegation
Shaun White won gold in the men’s snowboarding halfpipe Tuesday at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang for his third career Olympic gold medal, but faced questions from reporters after his final run about a 2017 sexual harassment settlement.
A woman who played in White’s rock band alleged sexual harassment that included him repeatedly touching her inappropriately, making her watch pornography and withholding wages due to her after he fired her.
“I’m here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip and stuff,” White told reporters when asked about the settlement. “I don’t think so.”
The red-haired American nicknamed “The Flying Tomato” scored a 97.75 on his final halfpipe run to vault from silver- to gold-medal position over Japan’s Ayumu Hirano. The run included multiple 1440-degree revolutions.
Some Olympics fans felt the allegations should preclude White from competing in the Games:
Hey, @NBCOlympics, why no mention of the disgusting sexual harassment suit involving Shaun White? Sorry, but he’s nothing to celebrate. He shouldn’t even be there. #OlympicGames2018 #metoo https://t.co/hkTmaoOElg Trisha Leigh (@trishaleighKC) February 14, 2018
USA Today columnist Christine Brennan made a further observation:
Shaun White just called the awful allegations against him gossip in a press conference where no woman journalist was called upon even though several, including me, had their hand up the entire time. #MeToo Christine Brennan (@cbrennansports) February 14, 2018
Other contest that because the case was settled, it should remain in the past.