So why do women take him so seriously?
Whoever acts as Tiger Woods’ PR flack must be the bravest person in the world. For a man revered as golf’s GOAT, Woods has a triple-bogey sense of public relations. From his early days as a humourless martinet to his current incarnation as superannuated Sonny Drysdale trying to keep up with the cool kids of the PGA Tour, Woods has displayed a remarkably tin ear for propriety.
The latest goofball stunt took place during last month’s first round in the Genesis Open in Los Angeles. Playing with his buddy Justin Thomas, Woods celebrated outdriving Thomas on the ninth hole by trying to hand him a Tampax. Get it? Outdriving Thomas? Hits like a woman? Yeah, that juvenile.
The stunt might have never been made public except Thomas knocked the object to the ground, drawing attention to the rude piece of business. Oh, and about a thousand cameras, reporters, and writers were watching every single move Woods made as he came back from his latest injury woes.
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May we direct a word to Tiger here? “Dude. Really? Where’s your head at? First, it was a dumb move. Agreed? You could’ve done this in a Monday practice round when no one was paying attention. You could have done it back home on a sultry summer morning. You could have thought better of it.
“But what did you do? You waited till the world’s eyes were on your balding 47-year-old head to embarrass yourself and Thomas on network TV. You might have noticed that a segment of the population – okay, the media – is waiting for your to slip up. You might also have been told that professional victims are jumping on things called micro-aggressions to draw attention to themselves. And you gave them a macro-aggression – a macro-macro aggression.”
Woods gave a dead-eyed apology to all those offended by his Animal House frat-boy act. “If I offended anybody in any way, shape or form, I’m sorry,” Woods said. “It was not intended to be that way. It was just we play pranks on one another all the time and virally I think this did not come across that way, but between us it was – it’s different.”
It was the same tone he struck in previous PR disasters. Remember when the most famous athlete in America, maybe the world, had his ex-wife decorate his car with a lob wedge in response to years of serial infidelities? Woods did a public contrition that was long on packaged talking points and short on sincerity in order to hold onto his sponsors.
Then there was the arrest for driving under the influence of prescription drugs in Florida. The nasty divorce from caddy Steve Williams, his sidekick in the glory years. And, of course, the near-fatal car crash after this same Genesis tournament in 2021. All accompanied by the poker-faced mea culpa.
Naturally, the idiocy was appropriated by the usual suspects to further their political aims. No sooner had the story broken than women disgusted by Woods’ previous indiscretions piped up. Cara Banks, the British female host on NBC’s Golfchannel, was measured but biting. “As a woman, I was totally shocked to see that the GOAT of our game – at least the active GOAT – is walking around carrying an intimate feminine hygiene product that we use to stop ourselves bleeding.
“I mean, I have no idea where this sort of premeditated act came from, let alone where he got the tampon from.” (Probably a Woke men’s washroom.)
Dr. Ann Olivarius, a lawyer specializing in equality and anti-discrimination litigation, tweeted: “See, it’s funny because feminine hygiene products are INHERENTLY emasculating, so when a man makes another man touch a tampon, he’s saying “I am a bigger and better man than you, because, GROSS, I made you touch a wrapped Tampax!”
SKY Sports Sara Stir: “Women should not be portrayed as being inferior to men in any walk of life and certainly on a sporting landscape, women, girls should not be made to feel like they’re inferior. Showcasing females to be inferior to men and being the butt of an in-joke between two men was really poor.”
Hey, he had it coming. But can we ask when educated, successful women felt that a juvenile stunt by Woods was a crippling episode in their lives? We thought feminism made women strong. But these Church Ladies have the resiliency of cheesecloth. How does this man/child set back the progress of their self-esteem? Give it the attention it deserves – none – and move on to things that really matter.
It might be germane to ask why liberal women outraged at this idiocy have been silent on far more consequential issues. For instance, why does this ultra-powerful voting block not go ballistic that trans women still retaining their block-and-tackle are welcome in their daughters’ washrooms? Or when newly trans inmates in women’s prisons sexually assault women prisoners?
Where is the sisterhood represented when conservative women are smeared for espousing traditional roles for women? Those roles are scrubbed from the public forum as if they were Tiger stunts. Why? Banks, a mother herself, knows that declaring that sort of thing will get you cashiered at ultra-liberal NBC. She’s a symbol of the self-silencing of women on difficult issues.
As stupid as Woods has been, the media’s attempt to divide women by their politics is equally stupid and self-defeating. The women we know are better than that. Set the indignation bar higher than Tiger Woods.
Bruce Dowbiggin is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his new book with his son Evan, was voted the eighth best professional hockey book by bookauthority.org. His 2004 book Money Players was voted seventh best.
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