Shaun White won a third gold for his snowboarding prowess, and I was surprised when he was asked about a sexual harassment lawsuit he settled.

The question annoyed me at first. I didn’t know all the details of the alleged harassment.

I didn’t know whether I was irritated because I sort of (kind of) knew Shaun White as a kid. He was in elementary school with one of my daughters. His older sister was the same age as another daughter. He lived across the street from good friends. (the accompanying picture is a generic photo and not one of Shaun White).

Or was I frustrated because this was supposed to be a celebratory moment of achievement? Former neighborhood kid makes good.

Now that I know more of the details of the alleged harassment, I realize I was bothered because I’m just so sad that even the Olympics (which is supposed to celebrate a time when the world comes together in the joy of competitive sport) is tainted with the ugliness of sexual harassment and abuse. Even someone I knew as a kid is allegedly culpable. We already knew about Dr. Nassar. Calling his actions horrific doesn’t even come close to naming the harm he inflicted on many young women.

The U.S. Presidency and the Oval Office have been tarnished as has Congress.

Abuses by Catholic priests are well-documented. Many years ago, a man who served as the senior pastor at the church I attend was disciplined for sexual harassment and abuse. I know of other pastors who have faced similar charges.

I experienced sexual harassment as a newspaper reporter, so was not shocked by the stories of women facing the same in the media or the entertainment world.

But still!

Is there any place that’s free of this terrible plague?

It’s not looking like there is and that saddens me.