The fallout from Tiger Woods’ admission that he had “let (his) family down” with “trangressions” has been spectacular. He’s had 12,000 comments on his website’s “comment on current events.” Newspapers are filled with articles pontificating about whether we expect too much of Tiger, and how it’s going to effect his sponsorship deals. Meanwhile, websites are running profiles of the women alleged to have been involved with the golfer. It all raises a number of questions about how we deal with celebrity, and how this particular celebrity deals with us.
Tiger Woods, as the BBC’s golf commentator Iain Carter notes in his blog, has always isolated himself from the media, his golfing colleagues and his fans. He’s maintained his privacy at all costs, which has led to us knowing very little about him other than the ‘perfect’ image he projected. When it emerges he is, after all, just human, should we be surprised?
Tiger is imploring us to respect his and his family’s privacy, but in managing his image so carefully, is the media storm that now surrounds him of his own creation?
This opinion piece from former England cricketer Ed Smith argues that Tiger Woods isn’t a good example for sports people anyway: “The Woods PR machine has also indulged the myth of sporting exceptionalism. Mistaking mere winners for supermen shortchanges everyone.”
Should sports stars be held up as role models for us mere mortals? Thierry Henry, Barry Bonds, Andre Agassi have all proven themselves less than perfect, yet we continue to be disappointed when they make professional or personal mistakes. This sports law professor argues sports stars should be role models. Do you agree?
Had Tiger been less the corporate PR person’s dream — genius sportsman, happy family man — and more open about his frailties, would so many people be weighing in on his ‘transgressions’ now?
Or is his private life, as he maintains, entirely his business, and his business alone?
And when celebrities or sports people do ‘transgress’, why are we so surprised anyway? Apparently, around 50 percent of married women and 60 percent of married men have affairs. If so many of us do it, who are we to judge Tiger Woods?