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Throwing Stones - My Thoughts On Tiger Woods' Situation
At one time in sports, if an athlete did something that was considered sinful, the public generally didn't know about it because reporters rarely wrote about such transgressions, preferring to look the other way.
Newspaper and radio people did this because they felt it was best to protect the athlete's clean, All-American image so he could continue to appeal to fans and especially kids.
The average person hardly knew about Babe Ruth staying out all night partying and whoring in gin mills and brothels in the 1920s. Ditto with Mickey Mantle in the 1950s and 60s; fans only saw a blonde hero in Yankee pinstripes, not someone who would sometimes be hung over in center field during games because of his wild nights.
This was strictly due to the newspapers in those times keeping that kind of madness out of their issues.
This is also what's so intriguing about the trouble that Tiger Woods is currently in.
The fact that his "infidelities" were not made public until he had that SUV accident outside his home in Florida tells me that if the beat writers and other media that cover golf knew about Tiger cheating on his wife Elin Nordegren, they ignored it to keep his image clean.
Just like they did with Mickey and the Babe all those years ago.
Not to mention keeping the high ratings for golf and the huge amounts of revenue dollars rolling in.
These past few weeks have indeed been rough on the man considered the best golfer in the world, who was just voted Athlete of the Decade by the Associated Press.
Numerous women have claimed they have slept with Woods, favorable public opinion of him has dropped from 85% to 42% according to one news poll, Gillette has stated that they would limit their commercials featuring him, and Accenture, a consulting firm, has completely severed ties with him.
Leaving the PGA Tour for an indefinite amount of time, as Tiger has said he would do, is a smart move. It's certainly what I would do if I was in a similar situation.
By doing this, Woods is recognizing that being a good father and family man is more important than being golf's number one player; for that I give him all due respect and credit.
It annoys me quite a bit that so many people have turned against him and are crucifying him for doing what we have all done: make a mistake.
While I don't condone committing adultery and think that Tiger was wrong in what he did, unlike those who now feel he's dirt, my opinion is this...
Tiger Woods' infidelities show that like everyone else, he is human and therefore has human weaknesses.
All of these individuals who are down on the golf superstar have apparently forgotten something that a very good and wise man once said in a certain book when asked what should happen to a woman who was caught doing the exact same thing that Woods did:
"He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone." -John 8:7
I couldn't have said it better myself.
When I read about all these folks castigating Tiger, I think, who are these people to condemn him as if they have done nothing wrong?
They all sound quite judgmental if you ask me.
True, some will say that as a significant role model, Woods has a responsibility to behave and conduct himself to a higher standard than the average person; since he cheated on his wife, in their view he deserves every consequence that he gets.
While that may be a legitimate point, that does not change the fact that like other human beings, Tiger Woods is not perfect - and should not have to be or feel pressured to be so.
Sure, he messed up big time by playing around on Elin with multiple women, but does that mean that he has to be judged and executed in the court of public opinion for a mistake that millions of others, including such luminaries as John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, have made?
It seems to me that a lot of people are calling for exactly that.
I, however, say no.
Tiger ought to be allowed to deal with this problem the way that he has stated he wants to deal with it - in private.
The media and the public need to leave him and his family alone, and hopefully that's what they will do, rather than judge him for fallacies that in one form or another, we all possess.
"Judge not, lest ye be judged." -Luke 6:37