Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Tiger Woods' History of Retort
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More times than not, I bash Tiger Woods. It's more subconsciously than anything, because I truly do enjoy him playing golf and competing, but I think as a punching bag these days, Tiger is an easy target. He's (still) the most popular face in golf, and brings the most attention (when is the last time the Australian Open made Sportscenter, and not the tennis tournament?), and with that brings the most controversy.
So when Steve Williams decided to make Tiger and himself the ugliest breakup in his career (and honestly, isn't that what it is? Elin walked calmly into the night. Butch Harmon wasn't happy but accepted it. Hank Haney said adios. Williams still seems like the crazy ex-girlfriend that is sleeping with everyone for the quick fix but wakes up each morning miserable with the world.), there were a ton of options for Tiger. He could have tossed Williams under the bus for his racist comments, and despite everything commenters have said over the last few days, we need to all understand that calling someone "black" is a race issue. First, it's derogatory, and was meant as a dig. There are plenty of ways to describe people, and when you use the color of their skin as a weapon, you're acting with racist intentions, even if you didn't mean to be. Does that make Williams a racist, like I initially said? No, it doesn't, but it does bring up the issue.
So on Tuesday in Australia, when Tiger took the podium, you knew he'd be asked about it. And he was. And he answered much like Tiger has in the past about any of this stuff. With dignity.
Yes, Tiger might not always take the high road with certain issues, but when people go after him, he always seems to brush it off or let the clubs do the talking. He did that with Stephen Ames. He did it with Vijay's caddie at the Presidents Cup, and he's doing that now.
Williams was the bad guy, and somehow, Tiger decided not to let him be for that long. He told the media that "Steve is certainly not a racist," and went on to say that while the comments did hurt him, life moves on. It was about as good a public relations maneuver as we've seen from Team Tiger since Escalade met bark.
This is something I do like about Tiger. He doesn't get into these pissing matches with people publicly. He stands up for people he likes (or used to like) and normally compliments them. He did it anytime someone said something about him after all his transgressions, and he's doing it now with Williams.
Woods might hate the guy now for all we know, but he'd never let his poker face show it. That's admirable, in a way.
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