Olympian Shaun White Apologizes for Offensive Halloween Costume

Snowboarder Shaun White apologized on Tuesday after the Special Olympics slammed him for dressing up as an intellectually disabled character for Halloween, USA Today reports. The three-time Olympic gold medalist reportedly posted an Instagram photo over the weekend with his costume of “Simple Jack,” a character in the 2008 movie Tropic Thunder that drew criticism for being a “crude portrayal of a person with an intellectual disability.” Soeren Palumbo, co-founder of the organization’s “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign, reportedly told HuffPost in a statement that “disability is not a joke nor should it be a punchline.”

White has since deleted the Instagram photo and apologized for his costume in a statement posted on social media. “I owe everyone in the Special Olympics community an apology for my poor choice of Halloween costume the other night,” White wrote. “It was a last minute decision. It was the wrong one. The Special Olympics were right to call me out on it. They do great work supporting so many tremendous athletes and I am sorry for being insensitive. Lesson learned.” The Special Olympics’ Twitter account has since thanked White for his apology.