Tiger Woods recently announced his new relationship with Lindsey Vonn on a gossip magazine cover, but Khalid Salaam writes on the Shadow League that his choice of women plays into an old stereotype of how to get ahead as a black athlete.
Posing for last month’s cover of People Magazine – with his new lady, Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn – is about as anti-nondescript as he could get. You could even say that it’s a power move by Woods to get in front of the story and not let the tabloids get their “feeding on a dead carcass” on.
Either way, it worked: a positive story as a lead-in for The Masters, to give his supporters something to focus on while he focused on his game. He also recaptured golf’s No. 1 ranking last month, taking the shine away from upstart s like Roy McIlroy, and defending Master’s champ Bubba Watson …
The tongue-in-cheek cynicism trickled out; that Tiger’s recaptured No. 1 ranking is directly tied to his choice of woman. A white woman, to be specific. It’s social media fodder and the kind of stuff you hear at bars and restaurants. Doesn’t matter if it’s ridiculous; people believe it.
What’s hard to ignore is how out-dated this all looks. Quiet as it’s kept, the era of the black pro athletes sporting white women on their arms – and the notion that they are status symbols – ended years ago. Woods is on some Last of the Mohicansish, right now.
Read Khalid Salaam’s entire piece at the Shadow League.
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