After winning the gold medal in the men’s halfpipe with a dramatic final-round score of 97.75, Shaun White did what most Olympic athletes do: He hugged people, he celebrated, he cried and was then handed an American flag. Unfortunately for White, the flag ended up being the only part of his performance that went negatively.
As White passed the flag to his right hand, the hand that was clutching his snowboard, the flag ended up on the ground being drug through the snow while he walked off the hill.
Go to the 1:45 mark of this video to see some of the scene play out:
A few viewers found this to be unacceptable:
Not sure if this makes me a hillbilly, but even though @shaunwhite is a BEAST, dragging the flag around even made this liberal cringe. Snowboarding: 98.75 Flag handling: 13.34 Still American: #PyongChang2018
— Dan Williams (@SuperiorDanW) February 14, 2018
Shaun White just broke flag code like six times.
— Luke Perrin (@TheLukePerrin) February 14, 2018
— Nathan (@America4Israel) February 14, 2018
Get our flag off the ground @shaunwhite
On the other hand, there were several viewers out there willing to give White a pass on this infraction, or at least willing to ignore his lack of proper flag etiquette:
I’m giving @shaunwhite a pass on the flag dragging. He was super emotional, trying to gather his gear, and had a lapse in judgement. This is a one time pass. Congrats bro made us proud!!! #Respecttheflag
— Adam Blevins (@itsblev) February 14, 2018
Shaun White doesn’t strike me as a guy who understands Flag Code.
— Stephen Bolen (@sbolen) February 14, 2018
If you boycotted the NFL because of players kneeling you hereby have to boycott the Olympics because of Shaun White dragging flag
— Health Kick Mike v3 (@michael_murph) February 14, 2018
Shaun white doesn’t realize you can’t drag and step on the flag but it’s all good dude is a warrior and a champion
— Roy Williams SZN (@KOR12290) February 14, 2018
Here’s a guy who was both angry and happy:
— Dan Yassinger (@WavePadsDan) February 14, 2018
And then there was the funny:
CNN: Shaun White gets redemption; wins gold
MSNBC: Shaun White wins gold again!
Fox News: OMG Shaun White hates America: drags flag on ground after win
— Cheeto Barrera (@CheetoBarrera) February 14, 2018
Shaun White is dragging the American flag aaalllll over the ground but i know there won’t be any conservatives outraged about it because…… pic.twitter.com/JPkOe8icbM
— Different Pink Hair Taylor (@Taylor_McKell97) February 14, 2018
Anybody got video of Shaun white dragging the flag? I wanna see what's pissing of F-150 Twitter
— Terrence Barrett (@Terrentino5) February 14, 2018
At a news conference later Wednesday evening, White said he didn’t know he had dropped the flag and apologized.
“Honestly, if there was anything … I didn’t mean any disrespect,” White said. “The flag that’s flying up on my house right now is definitely really high up there. Sorry about that. I’m really proud to represent Team USA.”
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