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#MeToo movement not impressed with Shaun White’s history-making gold.

Shaun White won another Olympic gold medal in snowboarding on Tuesday night and etched himself into the record books. For fans of the sport, it was a huge victory, one that will likely be remembered for years to come. For members of the #MeToo and “Time’s Up” movements, though, it was nothing but a slap...
Time: 02:27     Date: 14.02.2018
Last US News: #MeToo movement not impressed with Shaun White’s history-making gold. NY Post 24 - US News

For fans of the sport, it was a huge victory, one that will likely be remembered for years to come.

“Congrats to shaun white! here is the sexual harassment complaint against him from 2016 to refresh your memory,” wrote one Twitter user, in response to White’s win.

“Man Shaun White’s career was really ruined by those sexual harassment allegations none of you remember from a mere year and a half ago,” tweeted freelance reporter Danielle Tcholakian.

User @Schpantzy added, “Big congratulations on everyone on the USA team keeping the secrets of [White’s] sexual harassment under wraps. Must feel good lauding your very own Harvey Winestein of snow [sic].”

The three-time gold medalist was slapped with a sexual harassment lawsuit in 2016 by Lena Zawaideh, the former drummer in his rock band, Bad Things.

In the complaint, she claimed White “repeatedly sexually harassed her and forced his authoritarian management style on her for over seven years.”

He allegedly sent the woman sexually explicit and graphic images of “engorged and erect penises” on numerous occasions — and forced her to watch sexually disturbing videos, including clips “sexualizing human fecal matter,” the suit said.

White also made “vulgar” sexual remarks towards Zawaideh — such as, “Don’t forget to suck his balls” — when talking about her boyfriend, the suit said.

“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 suit said. “As the financier of Bad Things, White used his role to impose a strict regime over Zawaideh, going so far as to demand that she cut her hair, wear sexually revealing clothes and underwear, and refrain from wearing red lipstick.”

While White strongly denied the harassment allegations, he admitted to sending the sexually explicit texts — but claimed they were harmless.

“Many years ago, I exchanged texts with a friend who is now using them to craft a bogus lawsuit,” he said in a statement at the time. “There is absolutely no coincidence to the timing of her claims, and we will defend them vigorously in court.”

White and Zawaideh eventually reached an undisclosed settlement in May 2017, but that didn’t stop Twitter users from calling him out on Tuesday night after his big win in Pyeongchang.

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“As you cheer for @shaunwhite, consider these awful and graphic allegations of sexual harassment against him, including texts he admitted to sending,” tweeted columnist Christine Brennan.

“Hey, win three gold medals and everyone forgets about this stuff,” wrote Todd Walker.

News outlets were even throwing shade at the Winter Olympian.

“#ShaunWhite just won his third #Olympic gold medal, but that doesn’t mean the allegations against him should be overlooked,” tweeted Glamour magazine, along with a link to a story about Zawaideh’s suit.

Slate wrote, “Why isn’t NBC talking about the sexual harassment allegations against Shaun White?”

Countless people called out the network for “ignoring” Zawaideh’s claims in the midst of the #MeToo and “Time’s Up” movements. Many weren’t even aware of her lawsuit until they saw the tweets mentioning it.

“As Shaun White cements legacy, why so little attention paid to sexual harassment allegations?” tweeted USA Today reporter Maggie Hendricks.

Several people took to Twitter in the days leading up to the men’s halfpipe final to blast both White and NBC for not recognizing Zawaideh’s suit.

“Seriously, when does #timesup include our sports heroes?” tweeted Corrigan Vaughan, a self-described podcaster who posted an article on Friday detailing the alleged harassment.

“[White’s] also been harassing a good friend of mine for a while now,” she said. “I hate this guy.”

Attempts to reach White’s lawyer were unsuccessful on Tuesday night.

Zawaideh’s attorney, Lawrance Bohm, spoke to The Post about what it was like to see the snowboarder being hailed an Olympic hero after his record-breaking win.

“Of course, I was happy for our country — but I think I got happier because I realized that when Shaun won, it meant people were going to be looking at this guy,” explained Bohm. “[The victory] shines a light on what’s important in this country right now. Just because people are great at something or win a gold medal, doesn’t put them above the law. It doesn’t mean you can victimize and terrorize the women in your life.”

Bohm said he hopes NBC — and the entire country, for that matter — will eventually recognize the allegations against White, before it’s too late.

“The civil lawsuit was settled, but the government is always free to re-open their own investigation,” Bohm said, noting how Zawaideh’s complaint was “verified” and filed under the penalty of perjury.

“Before the US holds Shaun White up as a hero, like they did with Lance Armstrong, perhaps they should do their due diligence.”

Metro

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Opinion

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Living

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Business

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Metro

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Sport

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