Tiger Woods Dating: For Love or Profit?

On the Shadow League, Khalid Salaam writes that some think the previously scandalized golfer going public with his new girlfriend is more than just a photo opportunity. It's a return to old sensibilities that say that making it means dating a white woman.

Tiger Woods playing during the Masters on April 13, 2013 (Mike Ehrmann/Getty)
Tiger Woods playing during the Masters on April 13, 2013 (Mike Ehrmann/Getty)

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 oPeople 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.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.