Three-time Olympic champion Shaun White has apologized to the Special Olympics community after a backlash over his choice of Halloween costume.
The US snowboarder posted a photo of himself dressed as Simple Jack, a disabled character played by Ben Stiller in the 2008 movie “Tropic Thunder.”
Among those to criticize White was the Special Olympics, an American sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
“I owe everyone in the Special Olympics community an apology for my poor choice of Halloween costume the other night,” White said in a statement on social media.
“It was a last minute decision. It was the wrong one. The Special Olympics are right to call me out on it.
“They do great work supporting many tremendous athletes and I am so sorry for being insensitive. Lesson learned.”
Tropic Thunder was condemned at the time of its release for its derogatory portrayal of the Simple Jack character.
White has since deleted the social media post.
“We are truly disappointed that Shaun White, an acclaimed Olympian, would choose this costume which is so offensive and causes so much pain,” it said in a statement quoted by the Huffington Post and TMZ.
“Disability is not a joke nor should it be a punchline. We hope that Shaun White and others learn that this just continues stigma, stereotypes and discrimination.”