AP Photo/Denis Poroy
The story of Tiger Woods is one that if ended today, would live on in the annals of infamy; the spaceship-like rise and meteoric fall of one of the greatest athletes of our generation; from childhood, the subject of racial slurs on the golf course, to manhood, the subject of respect, love and admiration on the same golf course. Over the past few months, many have questioned Tigers decision making. How could questionably the most clutch athlete on the planet, place his wealth generating image and marriage on the line, for multiple tryst around the globe? Taking it a step further, why should he matter; what is the big deal with his infidelity and why was an apology a mandatory step to his comeback?
Tiger Woods matters simply because he is a global example at our fingertips whether a person chooses to accept him or not. Tiger matters because he took it upon himself not to allow for his color to be bigger than his work ethic. Some would even say that his decision to be ethnically neutral opened up an acceptance to his totality as a person. This totality in a small way, smoothed out the path for then Senator, now President Obama to walk. When you take this into account, it was only right that Tiger spoke at President Obamas Inauguration a little over a year ago.
The African-American community has taken shots at Tiger for not taking full grasp of his African-American background. But just ask yourself, how could he take full grasp of something that he is not 100% of? If it helps, there are Asians out there that feel slighted by Tiger as well. And for this alone, Tiger matters. From his ethnic background, to his choice in sports, to his billionaire bank account, how could he be understood by anyone, let alone, be relatable. He quite frankly, walks this earth alone.
Why are Tiger and his transgressions a big deal? Because in a world where politicians, athletes, celebrities and the people close to our hearts have found it necessary let us down, Tiger, from his elevated perch, had the opportunity to do better and be better. The big deal was Tiger being a married man. If Tiger was a single man, people wouldve put his actions alongside those of a Derek Jeter, Gerard Butler, or George Clooney as bachelors without a cause. Tiger had a family, a company, and a foundation full of children that saw him as, wait for it, a Role Model.
Wow, I remember role models. A role model realized that their life began in the eyes of those that believed in him or her. Only responsible people need apply. When apologies left Tigers lips this past Friday, he had to face those glittering eyed faces that he let down. These are the very people that he selfishly disregarded because he wanted something for himself. He felt entitled. It was Tiger that put in thousands of hours on golf courses around the world to be the best. It was Tiger that endured people being cruel to him as a child when all he wanted to do was play the sport he loved so much. It was Tiger that watched on as an African-American golfer told ESPN that, Tiger owed him his dream. Like previously noted, he walks this earth alone.
As for the apology, it was great television to some, and a much needed breath of truth for others. Tiger let down a whole slew of people, especially the companies that used his likeness to sell product. Noticeably absent was his wife, Elin. It hasnt been brought to anyone attention why Elin, or anyone from her family for that matter was present for the apology. When it is all said and done, the most disloyal actions from Tiger landed squarely in Elins lap. The fact that she wasnt present showed strength on her part and once again, left Tiger on an island. Elin Woods, role model.
In the coming months, golf fans, professional golfers including the Professional Golf Association will be patiently waiting for Tiger to make his return. Golf fans which were force fed the theatrics of Woods, are subject to regular golfers that dont pump their fists after sinking a putt. Ratings are down 40 to 50% to start off the season. Tigers competition will lose money because of his absence. When ratings drop, sponsorship payouts do the same. And the PGA is desperate to no end. They need Tiger more than Tiger needs golf. Losing 40 to 50% of your ratings on a weekly basis could cost the PGA millions, maybe hundreds of millions of dollars over time. So now do you understand why this man had to stand before the world and say that he was sorry? Tiger is sorta like a big deal.