Tigers rejection of our community, like OJ Simpson before him, comes with a price. Black people can and do revel in the meaning of his extraordinary triumph, but were not cheering him
Michael Jordan called it the greatest comeback he has ever seen. After all the trials and tribulations, all the ridicule and mock, all the personal and professional dishonours, Tiger Woods shocked the world by opposing off a field of younger competitors to win his first major title in over a decade at Augusta National Golf Club.
You may not have a pulse if you didn’t feel at least a little warm inside as Tiger passionately espoused his son behind the 18 th green, a scene reminiscent of the bear hug that he shared with his late father Earl Woods after winning the Masters for the first time back in 1997. As a father, I can frankly say that it almost stimulated my allergies start acting up.
Couple that with the fact that it happened at the Masters on a course that was literally built on the grounds of a slave plantation, one that no black golfer had ever even vied on until Lee Elder in 1975, at a club that didn’t even have a black member until 1990.
Couple that with this Tiger’s personal history with Augusta: the TV interview as a adolescent when the reporter asked which tournament most captured his imagination and he answered” the Masters” and the reporter asked why and a confident, wet-behind-the-ears 14 -year-old boldly answered” because of how blacks have been treated there, like they shouldn’t be there, and if I win this tournament it would be definitely be big for us “.
Couple that with the instances of publicly carried bigotry that Tiger has been made to endure over the years, including but barely limited to racist statements by Fuzzy Zoeller, Kelly Tilghman and Sergio Garcia.
Couple that with the way the mainstream media constructed Tiger up as a golf Superman only to tear him down nearly gleefully as they found his kryptonite. The sense persisted that many in America were almost cheering when he no longer performed at a Tiger Woods level of domination, transforming him into an object of sneering and taunts.( Even this year, an Augusta patron was spotted wearing a t-shirt with his mugshot on the front .)
And now, eventually, Tiger was able to relish the gratification of reprisal like Arya Stark with her needle sword as she exacted her revenge on everyone who meant her nothing but damage. This was Tiger’s moment to bask in his glory.
But even with all of that, I found it extremely difficult to fully espouse the moment because there’s another aspect to the story lurking around the corner to meet me, much to my astonish, like Jaime Lannister locking eyes with Bran Stark.
The fact that Tiger has stood unapologetically alongside Donald Trump is particularly troubling to me. Now let me say I have absolutely no problem with Wood voicing a political opinion that differs from mine. I’m not a person who wants to silence anyone who has an opinion or supportings a position that I don’t agree with and attempt to discredit them, demean them or personally attack them in any way shape or kind. Only as I praise LeBron James and Steph Curry and the entire Golden State Warriors under head coach-and-four Steve Kerr for taking the stance that they didn’t want to attend the White House after their NBA championship because their politics didn’t align with Trump’s, I also have to support somebody like Tom Brady’s choice to not want to attend when President Obama was in office because that’s his right, even if I don’t agree with it. If I don’t, I fall into the same category of a Laura Ingraham, who told LeBron and Kevin Durant to said shut up and dribble simply because their opinion differs from hers.
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