Evidently, pro snowboarder Shaun White, aka the Flying Tomato, was grounded this weekend. The 26-year-old action sports superstar was arrested early Sunday a.m. and charged with public intoxication and vandalism after allegedly pulling a fire alarm and damaging property at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville, TN.
Will White's arrest derail his career as an international athlete, entrepreneur and action sports icon? Or will it be perceived more as a youthful indiscretion a la Michael Phelps' bong incident?
According to police, White got into an altercation with another person who tried to prevent him from leaving the hotel after smashing things up. The two-time Olympic gold medalist allegedly tried to flee on foot but ran into a fence banging his head hard enough that he was transported to a local hospital for treatment. The police department’s press release reveals that White appeared to be extremely intoxicated and smelled of alcohol. He refused to sign a misdemeanor citation and apparently the cops had to haul him off to jail.
Shaun White Mug Shot via Nashville PD
White's depressing booking mug shot shows him with a black eye (presumably from running into the aforementioned fence). He was released by police on his own recognizance Monday afternoon .
White may not have been as fleet on his feet as he is on a board but jokes aside, the action sports dominator is reputed to one of the good guys. While some athletes don't know how to behave in public and are notorious for getting in trouble, White has a generally wholesome personna and is an icon for a sport that has recently gained more credibility.
Posting about the incident on his Facebook.com page, White admitted he behaved badly after drinking too much while celebrating the wedding of his musician pal Patrick Carney (Black Keys) on Saturday night.
Expressing regret over his (alleged) actions, he writes, “I want to apologize for the unwise choices I made over the weekend and for any inconvenience it caused my family, friends, business partners, the hotel and their guests. I was celebrating a happy occasion with a ton of family and friends and got carried away. I’m truly sorry for my poor behavior.”
White won a gold medal in Turin at the 2006 Olympics and in 2010 at the Vancouver Games. He has also dominated at both the Winter and Summer X Games, winning medals in snowboarding and skateboarding, and is a multimillionaire with a clothing line and signature video game.
Athletes are under no obligation to be role models but they're sometimes put in that position. Do you think White's arrest will impact his career or the perception of action sports?
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