I watched the press conference given by Tiger Woods, along with the rest of the world, wondering how Tiger was going to respond to all of his criticism. The world wanted Tiger to be humbled, as they do with most black male athletes who’ve been made into public enemy number one. They did it to Michael Vick, Terrell Owens, Ron Artest, and many other African American athletes who’ve done things that the world does not consider to be acceptable.
What’s funny, however, is that Tiger doesn’t have it in him to be humbled. He won’t let you make him into your little boy, and as nerdy or “oreo-like” as some might think he is, he’s not going to let you break him down. The tone of Tiger’s press conference was a reflection of that fact.
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During the press conference, Tiger did all the apologizing he could do. He admitted to his mistakes, his flaws, and everything in between. Yeah, yeah, right. But there was really a subtle negotiation taking place. One that says, “OK, I’ll apologize for this, but you BETTER NOT EVER think of doing that.”
He apologized for misbehaving, but said that the media had better not think of following his daughter to school.
He admitted that he’s shown poor judgement, but let the world know that he’s not going to talk about his marital problems to anyone.
He was willing to have a press conference, but the press wasn’t actually invited.
For every inch he gave away, Tiger took three inches back. He wasn’t going to allow himself to be humbled. Such is the nature of Tiger Woods and none was going to be allowed to remove his testicles.
There were more scores to settle in addition to the beef Tiger has with the American public. There was the one with Accenture, the company that dropped Woods right after the scandal broke. By having his press conference during one of Accenture’s events, he stole all of the golf-related headlines away from them. The golf writers chose to boycott, but that matters as much as the stripper’s union boycotting a church service. The truth is that golf writers don’t matter to mainstream America, only CNN, NBC, ABC and all the other networks that have every inch of Tiger’s attention.
The other score Tiger has to settle is with his fellow golfers. Ernie Els called Tiger “selfish” for having his press conference at the time he chose (translation: This the typical “arrogant negro” complaint that folks have when black men stand up for themselves. Note that Ernie Els is from South Africa, where black people have been historically disrespected). Tiger claims that he doesn’t know when he’s going to come back to the game of golf, but it will surely be soon enough for him to whip Ernie Els’ South African butt during the year 2010. There’s no better way for Tiger to prove his point to the “haterologists” than to beat them into the ground. He will surely show them no mercy.
Tiger Woods is back, and he is focused. This is going to be an interesting year.