A member of Team USA is under fire after he was seen on live television dragging the American flag on the ground, and at one point, even stepping on it.
Snowboarder Shaun White had just won gold on the halfpipe when he was given an American flag to wave. As he continues to celebrate, he drags it on the ground, and even steps on it. Partial video of the incident is below. However, NBC has not released full video of what happened.
He was immediately criticized on social media after viewers saw it happen on TV, and he apologized later, saying he didn’t realize it was dragging.
Olympic and professional snowboarder Shaun White dragged the American flag on the ground after winning gold in the 2018 Winter Games, and social media users were quick to call him out for it.
But White, 31, who won Team USA’s 100th gold medal in Winter Olympic Game history on Wednesday, said at a press conference following the incident that he didn’t realize he let the flag touch the ground.
‘I remember being handed the flag but I was trying to put my gloves on and hold the flag and get the board,’ White said.
‘Honestly, if there was anything, I definitely didn’t mean any disrespect. The flag that’s flying on my house right now is way up there. So, sorry for that. But I’m definitely proud, very proud, to be a part of Team USA and be an American and to be representing for everyone back home.’
Social media users were not pleased with the mishap, calling it out for anyone who might not have noticed.
‘Shaun White is dragging the American flag on the ground, stepping all over it,’ Charean Williams, who is a writer for Pro Football Talk, posted.
In a more opinionated tweet, user @clyde751 wrote, ‘Shaun White may have won gold, but lost points for walking on the flag!’
White blamed the dragging of the flag on having his hands full, but at least one photo shows him letting the flag touch the ground without any gear in his hands.
Here is video of the incident. The video begins as he is handed the flag, and it can briefly be seen dragging on the ground at the end.