ESC

Shaun White Wins Third Olympic Gold Medal, Does a Sick 1440 Spin Over Sexual Harassment Allegations

Since the NHL didn’t let players go to the Winter Olympics to compete for their countries, I guess we might as well watch snowboarding, which is a sport in the same way that The Kardashians are celebrities: I know it is, but I still can’t put my finger on why. And like The Kardashians, soulless ginger Shaun White has brought gold to America with his third win, the most Olympic medals by a snowboarder. Shaun White is basically the Wolverine of snowboarding; he’s the best there is at what he does, and what he does is completely inconsequential even to people who are seriously invested in the Olympics.

Okay, it is pretty impressive to watch him spin in the air, I couldn’t do that. But I can’t do a lot of things, like play Overwatch, and it doesn’t make any of those a real sport, either. After his win, though, it seems people wanted to talk more about his past than his win.

No, not that. White was asked a question about allegations of sexual harassment he settled with a former bandmate Lena Zawaideh in 2016. Just to refresh:

In 2016, Lena Zawaideh sued Shaun White, alleging sexual harassment, wrongful termination and nonpayment of wages, among other complaints. Zawaideh was the drummer and only female member of Shaun White’s rock band, Bad Things, for seven years…

According to the suit, “White sent sexually explicit and graphic images to Zawaideh of engorged and erect penises, forced her to watch sexually disturbing videos, including videos sexualizing human fecal matter, and made vulgar sexual remarks to her such as, ‘Don’t forget to suck his balls!’ when commenting on her boyfriend. At one point, White stuck his hands down his pants, approached Zawaideh, and stuck his hands in her face trying to make her smell them.” The offending texts sent by White also included arguably racist, explicit images of black men. The complaint further alleged that an intoxicated White attempted to kiss Zawaideh at a Halloween party in October 2010; “Another time, White put his buttocks directly in Zawaideh’s face. Still another time, White grabbed Zawaideh’s buttocks shortly after leaving practice for the day.”

White later appeared on Today and said that calling the allegations gossip was a “poor choice of words”.

White was involved in another mini-scandal when, after winning the gold medal, he accidentally let the American flag he was draped in touch the ground. Horror of horrors, right? You would think so from some of the reactions on social media, mostly from people’s single aunts, I’m guessing.

Of course, the reactions to the reaction were actually funny, because this is an area ripe for parody.

Even conservative game show host Chuck Woolery, who hasn’t met the right-wing outrage he didn’t love before now, wasn’t having it.

Personally, I think we can set both of these scandals aside and let Shaun White get back to doing what he does best, which is living his life in obscurity until he periodically emerges to win at a sport no one in the United States cares about except for one someone born here does it better than everyone else.

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