Tiger Woods did not open any doors for Barack Obama, no matter how much golf writers wish he did
I try and be a realist about things. Especially in my role as a golf blogger. In fact, I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I’ll make otherworldly stretches to connect the subject of golf to the point I try and make in a golf blog post. Occasionally it works seamlessly, but for the most part, a reader can tell fairly easily when I’m reaching for a connection. But unlike the federal government, I’m all about transparency and am not trying to trick anyone. I do what I do and feel golf fans are intelligent people that can handle a wide range of discussion.
My point in this post, however, is calling out two golf writers for blatantly pandering and trying to make the world of golf fit a political narrative.
First, Michael Bamberger of Sports Illustrated in his column “Has Tiger Woods helped clear the way for Barack Obama?”
So the question here in the toy department is this: Has Tiger Woods — simply by conducting his business the way he does — helped make the country more tolerant?
And then for GolfWorld, there’s Jaime Diaz with the column “The Tiger Effect And The Obama Phenomenon”
I can’t help it. Something visceral tells me Tiger Woods has had something to do with the ascension of Barack Obama. Maybe a lot.
Honestly, reading both of those columns, something visceral tells me there’s a current of racism in them both. But that’s generally why I try and keep my viscera away from my keyboard.
Again, don’t get me wrong, I’m no stranger to using golf as a jump-off point for other discussions. But this “Tiger-Woods-opened-the-Door-for-Barack-Obama” narrative is truly weak. It is really a sign of the hubris of the writers involved that they somehow think that Woods somehow changed the world in a decade and now a black President is a possibility.
What about Oprah Winfrey? While many grumbled that she was overstepping her grounds as a talk-show host by campaigning for Obama, his campaign appears to have reaped massive rewards from her help. Are they saying that Tiger’s non-existent political views are more important than the wide-open political views of the most popular African-American on the planet?
But regardless, it’s neither here nor there. If Barack Obama becomes President of the United States, it will have nothing whatsoever to do with Tiger Woods. And if Obama doesn’t become President, it won’t have anything to do with Woods, either. Trying to point to a Tiger-Obama connection is nothing more than pandering to the populace. It is aggrandizing Woods while demeaning Obama.
So, Bamberger and Diaz, let me give you some advice I’ve been given (and ignored) hundreds and hundreds of times around here - keep politics out of your golf writing, it makes you sound foolish.
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Though I did not read the stories you were referring
to, I think I can follow the train of thought, and
that is that colour has no boundaries. The time has
come when the limitations placed on one because of
their colour is all but over. One main fact that is
usually overlooked, but Tiger is the ONLY black golfer
with a tour card ( in US or here in Europe), reasons of w
of which we could start a whole new blog on. Not so
long ago golf was not considered a black sport because
brute ( also can be translated to be dumb) strength was
was less needed. One needed grace, strategy etc. Not
that this was not in other sports but in golf its
more dominate. I think that thats where they are going
with the Tiger story. If we can look past his color
and see a kid ( who happens to be 50% black) play
golf in such a way that the veterens of old are saying
this kid is great, then America can look past Obama
and his complexion and see him for what he is, not a black man, but simply.........a man.
And if you think I'm saying that because I'm "racist" - well, sorry. I would vote for Colin Powell in a split second...and if Condoleeza Rice had chosen to run, would vote for her as well. It's not RACE - it's IDEOLOGY.
I had no idea he was.....Bill Clinton is WAY more 'black' IMHO.
There weren't that many Americans who wouldn't vote for a black man (percentage-wise) before Woods' ascendancy, and there aren't that many now. Woods, although the greatest golfer who ever lived, just isn't that important. I Hate to break it to you.
Good catch Jen. I need to remember to use that in my upcoming book "Jennifer Mario: The Making of a Pulitzer Prize Winner"
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