IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Snowboarding superstar Shaun White apologizes over 'Simple Jack' costume

White was admonished by the Special Olympics for wearing a costume that disability advocates have called "derogatory and demeaning."
Image: Snowboard - PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games
Shaun White celebrates after winning a gold medal at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Game on Feb. 14.Sergei Ilnitsky / EPA file

Snowboarding superstar Shaun White apologized Monday after wearing a Halloween costume that sparked a backlash from the Special Olympics.

In a now-deleted post on White’s Instagram account, the professional snowboarder and skateboarder was shown dressed as "Simple Jack," a disabled character featured in the 2008 film "Tropic Thunder" that triggered a boycott at the time and charges that it promoted "derogatory and demeaning" stereotypes.

"I owe everyone in the Special Olympics community an apology for my poor choice of Halloween costume the other night,” White said. “It was a last minute decision. It was the wrong one. The Special Olympics were right to call me on it."

“Lesson learned," he added.

Earlier, an official with the organization, Soeren Palumbo, told The Huffington Post in a statement that White had chosen a costume that “causes so much pain.”

"Disability is not a joke nor should it be a punchline," Palumbo said. "We hope that Shaun White and others learn that this just continues stigma, stereotypes and discrimination."

In a reply to White’s apology on Twitter, the Special Olympics thanked him for “listening to our community.”

“You always have an invitation to shred with our athletes at #XGames Aspen!” the reply said.

CORRECTION (Nov. 4, 2018, 6:52 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this story misidentified Soeren Palumbo as a co-founder of the Special Olympics. Palumbo is the co-founder of a Special Olympics campaign, "Spread the Word to End the Word."