I knew it was going to happen. As I explained to Don Lemon last night on CNN (the clip is below if you’d like to see it), there is a strong risk of Tiger Woods becoming “OJ Simpsonized” by his recent scandal. He started off as Barack Obama, and with one exposure after another, he slides down the slope and ends up in no man’s land.
Well, Glenn Beck fulfilled that prophecy on his show, by comparing Tiger Woods to O.J. Simpson.
This scandal may get worse for Tiger Woods before it gets better. I spoke with Rev. Al Sharpton this afternoon, a man who I consider to be incredibly savvy when it comes to politics (notice that he was one of the few black public figures not to lose his power during the rise of Barack Obama). Rev. Sharpton made a very good point that Tiger Woods doesn’t have a base of support, which is also going to hurt him during his media onslaught. When Sharpton and others spoke up in support of Woods after a golf announcer made a joke about “lynching him in a back alley,” Tiger promptly waved off his supporters by acting as if they were in the wrong. As a result, no one is standing up for him now.
Tiger never asked for us to racialize him as a human being. He has been consistent in his disposition, and I don’t expect him to suddenly run to black America to save him from this situation. That is part of what makes me respect Tiger, even though I am not in alignment with his politics. What is also true is that Tiger doesn’t deserve to have his entire legacy tarnished over the mistakes he has made in his personal life. He is still the greatest golfer in the history of the world, a man who single-handedly dominated a sport that others swore could not be dominated. He carries the PGA on his back, and with that sort of domination comes a long list of enemies. As they say in China, “The fattest pig always gets slaughtered,” and right now, Tiger Woods is a walking pork chop.
The biggest mistake that “Team Tiger” is making right now is their decision to take the year off. I presume that this was Tiger’s idea, because it is incredibly illogical. The last thing that Woods needs to do is sit on the sidelines and let the world judge him by his marital infidelity. He needs to be on the golf course, sinking putts and winning majors. That is what will make the world forget about the past and make his sponsors start coming back. But then again, I am sure that right now, Tiger’s life is more complicated than any of us can imagine. That is the part of me that prays for him.
It will be interesting to see how Tiger evolves during this struggle. Even O.J. Simpson had Johnnie Cochran and Tiger doesn’t seem to have anyone. The CNN conversation I had with Don Lemon is below if you’d like to take a look. This is far from over.