Friday, January 25, 2008

Are You Kidding Me?

Maybe some of you out there in the world have seen or heard of the situation surrounding Tiger Woods and Golf Channel anchorwoman Kelly Tilghman. If you didn't, here is the Reader's Digest version. In an effort to applaud Tiger's skill, she suggested on record that the only way for up and coming players on the tour to beat him was to "lynch him in a back alley".

Oops.

Golf Channel suspended her for 2 weeks. Once returned to the air, she apologized with professionalism and sincerity. Tiger, being nothing short of a consumate professional, accepted her apology, and made it clear that he realized there was no ill-will or malice intended by her statement. That could have gone a lot differently for everyone. Tiger could've raised hell. He could've screamed about his lot in life. He could've drawn attention again and again to the facts that he represents two minorities and that his legacy will be tarnished forever by this insensitive publication, and on and on and on. The most popular and dominant golfer in the world could've called for her head on a pike.

He did none of these things. He recognized the error in her judgement, and the inappropriate use of the phrase "lynch". Anyone who suggests that this term doesn't hold a poigniant meaning, particularly for an African American has clearly never seen a history book. But recognizing the mistake, Tiger accepted her apology in turn, and decided to speak no more of it. Well done, sir.

Jim Brown, however, did not accept her apology. This in and of itself is a funny statement to me. Jim Brown is not an athlete currently participating in a professional sport. Jim Brown is not a professional golfer. Jim Brown is clearly not Tiger Woods. So far, I cannot see rhyme or reason why Tilghman should apologize to Jim Brown? But he disagrees. It would seem that the air of blackness that he feels is necessary for all minority athletes to carry around was not sufficiently upheld by Tiger on this day. Brown seems to think that Tiger responded in a politically correct time and place. The shame! Seems to me that he would like Tiger to walk around pissed off with a massive chip on his shoulder about how much life sucks in his (Tiger's) black athlete world. Lest we forget, Tiger set many records last year, but amoung them was the most money earned by any athelte in a calander year...ever. That number, in case you were wondering, just topped $100,000,000. Yeah I'm sure his life sucks.

Tiger is well embraced by the bulk of the world. It doesn't matter if you golf or not. you probably know who he is. He is a professional. He is a celebrity. He is what the kind of person that the sporting world needs. He embraced the situation with grace and integrity, and until Tilghman says something to Jim Brown for which he should take offense...just shut up.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Mom said...

Good insight

8:05 PM  

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