Skating at White House: Bad or Rad?
Critics call Tony Hawk's stunt disrespectful; his fans say it was awesome.
June 20, 2009 — -- Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk is taking on the "haters" who think his decision to ride inside at the White House was not so rad.
Hawk briefly skated in the Grand Foyer of the White House on Friday during a day-long visit for a Father's Day celebration hosted by President Obama.
Hawk also took a ride over the checkered tiles of a hallway in the nearby Old Executive Office Building.
He quickly posted photos of his escapade online, touching off a lively debate. By Saturday afternoon, Hawk felt the need to defend himself.
"Wow, haters! My passion, the sport that made me who I am, has allowed me to live the American Dream, disrespects the White House? Not at all," Hawk wrote on his Twitter page.
"I did no damage, as I also saw cart and trolley wheels rolling along the same floor. Funny how football on the WH lawn yesterday = no drama," he wrote.
Hawk, 41, also known for his hugely popular skateboarding video games, kept his 900,000 followers on Twitter updated throughout the day Friday during every step -- and roll -- of his White House visit.
"Hi. I am inside the White House gates eating Frosted Flakes and about to do press. You heard it here first. Yes, I brought my skateboard," he wrote at 7:34 a.m.
Hawk took his first spin shortly after 9 a.m., on a dare from the actor Ashton Kutcher, he said.
"Snagged a weak manual on the way to CNN while nobody was looking," he posted.
"And here is my exit," he wrote just before 10 a.m., posting a link to another photo. "Supposed to return at noon for the First fathers event if they let me back in."
They did, and at 3:23 p.m. Hawk sent another Tweet: "Town Hall meeting. The message: embrace responsibility as a father. Still can't believe I'm here."
On conservative blogs, and newspaper message boards, Hawk's critics could not believe it, either.
"This has got to be the most disrespectful act so far, by this administration!" a poster using the name Sunshine Nurse wrote on the USAToday's Web site. "What's next, the skeet shooting of the American eagle?"