I’m Not Black, I’m Tiger

Illustration for article titled I’m Not Black, I’m Tiger
Photo: Kevin C. Cox (Getty Images)

On Sunday, Tiger Woods won the Masters. Big fucking deal. I mean I know it’s historic and a major comeback and he got a green jacket and all that, but let’s be clear about this: Tiger Woods don’t fuck with us. He never has, so me going all ape shit and posting celebratory Tiger photos on my Facebook and Twitter wasn’t happening.


In fact, when I saw Tiger all over y’all’s pages, I thought that someone had gotten a spoiler view of Sunday’s Game of Thrones and learned that Tiger was Jon Snow’s son, which would make him Tiger Snow (which happens to be my old breakdance name but I digress.)

My very smart brother, Panama, has written the definitive piece arguing for Tiger’s win as a win for the black community. He challenged us all to a fight. As it says in the book of negroians, Chapter 3 verse 6: Knucketh only if one buckeths. Or, as Tiger might say, “Yeah, sure, lets engage in a friendly bit of fisticuffs” before smacking Panama in the face with golf glove.

I was confused by all the black love Tiger was getting when Tiger has never been Eldrick (his birth name, and I fucks with Eldrick); he’s always been Tiger, who’s taken a Clarence Thomas-like vow of silence on black issues. As it stands, Tiger is not passive in this current administration’s maneuvers; he’s complicit. As with most racists, Donald Trump uses famous black faces to tout his allegiance to black people as a whole, and Tiger has allowed his friendship with Trump to become a part of this.

Currently, migrant children are still locked away in cages, Trump is destroying affirmative action all across the states and niggas’ tax returns is looking real light, and Tiger is not only silent about all of it, he plays golf with the man. The two are friends and Tiger said so—in 2018!

“I’ve known Donald for a number of years,” Woods told Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter John Branch of the New York Times. “We’ve played golf together. We’ve had dinner together. I’ve known him pre-presidency and obviously during his presidency.”


Branch then asked Tiger: “At times, especially 2018, I think a lot of people, especially people of color, immigrants are threatened by him and his policy – what do you say to people who might find it interesting that you have a friendly relationship with him?”

Said Woods: “Well, he’s the president of the United States. You have to respect the office. No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.”


Finally, Woods was asked if he had any comment on the state of race relations in the United States.

“No. I just finished 72 holes and I’m really hungry,” he said.


Woods is “Caublasian,” arguably the Caublasian-est but, nigga.

Tiger has no comment on race relations in this country? Woods just dunked all over Michael Jordan’s “Republicans buy shoes too” comments (though to be fair, it’s not entirely clear Jordan ever said that). I don’t understand the cultural relevance of a black man who’s spent the majority of his life distancing himself from black people only to be fully embraced by black people just because he won. We love a comeback story and I get that. Before winning the Masters, Tiger was the great golfer cruising Big Lots looking for white women. Then he was the drug-popping, “I took half a Xan, 13 hours till I land” Tiger, so Tiger’s voice on race would be the equivalent of seeking out a statement from Marsha Warfield on her feelings on the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling to return asylum seekers back to Mexico.


So it isn’t Tiger that confuses me; it’s the black reaction to Tiger that’s got me fucked up. You know who else plays golf with President Trump? This guy:

Illustration for article titled I’m Not Black, I’m Tiger
Photo: Jeff J Mitchell (Getty Images)

Pastor Darrell Scott, a.k.a. Conky Conkington and the Mighty Mighty Conkstones. Fine, I don’t know if they play golf but they could because they are friends. Just look at this:

Illustration for article titled I’m Not Black, I’m Tiger
Photo: Mark Wilson (Getty Images)

And don’t think for a second that Tiger and Trump aren’t hitting this same pose on the golf course. This is what you do when you’re friends. You grab hands and hug:


And, I’m just saying if we ain’t rooting for these guys then where did all this energy come from for Tiger? I’m so confused and don’t know who’s coming to the cookout or not. I feel like after one Masters win everyone is back on the Tiger love train, but I’m really confused because I can’t think of one time that Tiger has ever given a shit about us.

Oh, and if your tax return is looking like a gallon of unleaded gas prices, then Tiger’s to blame for that shit, too, because apparently Trump consulted him about tax reform, but tell me again about that green jacket and how Tiger’s not black and whether the “little boy” had fried chicken and collards greens at the official dinner because his distancing himself from us doesn’t mean they love him either.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.



As the byproduct of an interracial relationship, even I have to give Tiger a shady side-eye. Not for his talent, not for his wins, but for his complicity in providing melanin-infused cover for the current occupant of the Oval Office. It is safe to assume he did the same for Dubya, and if all he knows is rarefied country club air, I am even more disappointed in him. He was in hiding almost the entire Obama administration, so who knows what awkward conversations they may or may not have had?

Black athletes that compete in sports that are steeped in the trappings of the upper echelons of white society surely must tread a thin line to be palatable to sponsors and fans alike. Golf, tennis, fencing, lacrosse, you know what I mean. That said, if Serena and Iman Blow can compete with grace without sacrificing their blackness, (or their womanhood) so too could Tiger—if he wanted to. Alas, he does not.

Tiger has this mythos surrounding him about his Asian roots, which must make him all the more exotic to white folks, and if he were just black, perhaps he would be slightly less palatable to them. Serena is not out here touting anything other than her blackness, and she cannot even wear a catsuit to play anymore. We cannot expect much from Tiger at this point, so while it may seem like a win for blackness whenever he wins, it is a pyrrhic victory at best.