In yesterday’s “Why Tiger Woods’ Family Business is Our Business”, writer Jimi Izreal raised some valid points about the recent crash involving Woods (and, rather bizarrely, his wife Elin who was on the scene standing over her hubby with a golf club). Izreal states that while Tiger Woods has the right to stay quiet about his recent auto accident, he also owes it to his fans to come clean about what really happened. Woods owes this especially, according to Izreal, to those who see him as a role model.
But what if you’re like me, someone who gave up on Tiger Woods a long time ago? I don’t expect anything from dude at this point. Let me take that back, I have huge expectations of him – on the golf course. But as far as being a pillar for the black community, role model for little kids, or issuing some sort of explanation about his auto accident he had the other night, I just can’t say I’m sitting here waiting for it to happen. And if I were, it would be out of pure nosiness, not because I think he should be accountable to me.
After all, this is the same man who sent chills down conscious black peoples’ collective spine when he went on Oprah and said he doesn’t really see himself as African American, but Cablinasian (to be fair, I think that’s his choice). We cringed as he laughed off fried chicken jokes made by white golfers at his expense. By the time he chose not to take a black woman as his bride, and married Scandinavian nanny/model Elin Nordegren instead (again, his choice), we basically had nothing left to say, but a lukewarm “congrats”.
So why chime in now? This is not OJ: Part Two (and if folks remember correctly, he just wasn’t that into us either). Ben Jealous may beg to differ, but if Tiger Woods truly wanted to be a role model, he would have returned the NAACP’s calls now. He would have joined their push to remove the confederate flag from the Statehouse of South Carolina, but he didn’t. We’d see his face every February, right alongside George Washington Carver’s. But we don’t.
Tiger Woods has always been somewhat of a private person anyway, so maybe it’s time we stop forcing him to “represent” if he’s not really trying to anyway. He does golf. He told us that. Sure, it would be nice if he felt and acted accountable to those who may admire him. But I’m thinking it may be best we let Tiger stay in his lane while we stay in ours – and just hope he watches out for that fire hydrant (and nine iron) next time.