A few months ago Jim Brown appeared on HBO "Real Sports" with Brian Gumbel. He said "Tiger Woods is an extraordinary athlete and a monster competitor, but as a human being or an agent for social change, he's horrible". Many people rejected Jim Browns remarks, and accused Jim Brown of race hustling. Conversely, Jim Brown had it right a long time ago.
Tiger Woods became an American sports phenomenon, back in 1997 when he became one of the youngest golfers to ever win the Masters. Many Americans idolized what they considered to be the first African American to win the Masters tournament. Shortly thereafter, Tiger Woods went on the record to clarify that he was not African-American, rejecting the social label placed on anyone with African ancestry.
Many in the African-American community were outraged, however they understood his reasoning and supported Tiger Woods, and followed him towards his journey of super stardom. Eventually, it opened up the door for Tiger Woods to be an American household name that did not care about the race cards or any issues pertaining to race.
Tiger Woods evolved into a Multi-national, bi-racial, diverse, and fun loving human being, who later became the first athlete to earn over $1billion. To top it all off he married a Swedish bikini model. Tiger Woods was larger than life, bigger than Pele, Beckham, Jordan, or any other athlete we have ever seen.
Why did the world fall in love with Tiger? Did we fall in love due to him having the potential of being a monogamous gentlemen, who was purer than the Virgin Mary? Did we assume Tiger was a good old boy, who ate breakfast with the family, came home at 6 without stopping for drinks at the bar during happy hour? No, we fell in love with Tiger, due to his ability to hit that ball in the whole.
Society is celebrity crazed, and blinded by stardom and success, to the degree that we eventually become intimately involved with our celebrities. We establish an impossible criteria for superstars to meet, in order for the intimacy to feel perfect. Unfortunately, we forget that celebrities are human, regardless to how much money they make, or how well they do their job.
Our society overlooks the true perfect gentleman, and are too materialistic to look beyond the money and fame. Certain people are just jerks, regardless to how talented they are. A jerk is not difficult to spot. Tiger Woods, was a jerk from the jump, a spoiled little boy from Orange County, California. Far from a humanitarian, just a money hungry athlete who thinks the world revolves around him.
Sadly, most Americans had to wait 12 years to realize this guy was a fraud, who portrayed himself as a clean cut American household name. Nonetheless, you got to love the athletes like Allen Iverson, and Charles Barkley, who have no shame to tell the American public who they are, instead of deceiving the world in a portrayal of false imagery.
Some are comparing Tigers downfall to Mike Vick's fall from grace. Not even close, Mike Vick was thug from Virgina, who hung out with thugs from Atlanta, Miami, Las Vegas, New York you name it. He had no problem letting the public know where he stood socially, Mike Vick never portrayed himself as Harry Potter, or Thurston Howell III. It was a no brainier to me that he would be involved with something like dogfighting, he does not even seem to care that he lost all the money and fame, he enjoys being himself, he never shed a tear in the public eye.
As for Tiger, his world collapsed with the blink of an eye. Had Tiger been open about being a womanizer, and a party goer who lived life in the fast lane AKA "Smooth Operator". Everything would be perfect for Tiger now, we would only concern ourselves with his performance. However, we bought his story and facade, now were taking him to the cleaners.
The reality of the situation is that Tiger Woods is a billionaire, any man in his 30's with $1 billion to his name is going to live life on the edge. That's just what money does to young men. Most billionaires have several women whether their married or not. However, now that society has come to the realization that Tiger is a human being, we cant live with the fact that he is not the alien superstar we dreamed of.