Tiger Woods Scandal, And The Attempts To Destroy The Black Athlete
When I turn on Sportscenter in the morning, I see Tiger Woods. When I turn on NBC after lunch, I see Tiger Woods. When I turn off my television I lay across the couch and pick up my newspaper and a disgraced Tiger Woods, graces the cover page, the inside page and the TV guide.
Tiger Woods, once the most praised and richest athlete in the world, has now been the subject of major ridicule.
Indeed he has caused his personal life to go up in smoke.
But that's his personal life. He has cheated on his wife and that is something that he has to deal with.
Some of the people ridiculing his personal life may have even cheated on their spouse. But when someone of his stature comes along and proves that they are human, the world who once praised them, quickly turns their back.
Tiger has been bombarded by his opponents. The same opponents that feel that this is the only way they could get the upperhand on the world's greatest golfer.
Tiger has been bombarded by the media.
He has lost endorsements.
In a few days he went from being the most loved to the most hated person in the world. All because he proved that he is human. The media should put him No. 2 on the Terroist's Most Wanted list beside Osama Bin Laden.
And why haven't we heard about that guy lately?
And why are the rape allegations for Ben Roethlisberger being swept under the rug?
He was out of the press as soon as he said he didn't do it.
But when Kobe Bryant said the exact same thing, he was followed heavily into the trial. And still lost multiple endorsements when proven to be innocent of rape.
Kobe had to climb back up into the ranks himself. But he had to fix his personal life first. And while the media was busy damaging his reputation, it became difficult.
While the media is damaging Tiger Woods' life, it's going to make it very difficult to get his personal life back in order.
Every time his wife and family turns on the television they'll see his faults and wrongdoings.
But when Ben Roethlisberger's family turns on their television, people see him throwing for over 500 passing yards and talking about how the game went.
The media tears some of the biggest names apart in sports.
Does Barry Bonds ring a bell?
He is one of the most prolific hitters ever. But a huge steroid cloud hovers over his accomplishments. Barry was even booed in his own stadium after surpassing Babe Ruth's career home run total.
Even if Barry has had that steroid cloud over him. While Mark McGwire was breaking single season home run records he was universally known for taking performance enhancers. If they were both using enhancers, why is it that Barry Bonds is still sitting in the dark?
He hasn't been proven guilty in court yet. And the law states that we are innocent until proven guilty.
Barry Bonds' image has suffered greatly, while Alex Rodriguez continues to keep his name intact.
Rodriguez did get media attention for his allegations on steroid use, but nothing has compared to the likes of Bonds. He became a Worlds Series Champion after all the allegations died down and he was allowed to concentrate on his job.
Barry Bonds is still being criticized.
And what about former Chicago Bulls star Craig Hodges? He became only the second person in All-Star history to win three consecutive 3-point shooting contests. He was a very outspoken person and was publicly involve with the Minister Louis Farrakhan.
He was seen as a outspoken jerk in the media, and received a lot of press for acting on what he believed in.
After the Bulls won their second straight NBA title, Hodges went to the traditional White House visit with a dashiki on.
His outspoken spirit was then punished by the organization, when he was let go the following season with an excuse that he was a weak defensive player.
He went from helping a team win the championship to not being able to land a contract with one of the worst teams in the league.
He was outspoken but he wasn't disrespectful.
Terrell Owens is a very outspoken athlete today. The media has feasted on his troubles with players on his past teams so much that when he was without a catch for the first time in years for his new team, the Buffalo Bills, he was bombarded with luring questions from the media.
Questions that were meant create the villain in a franchise the way he was perceived in previous ones.
So do me a favor, jot down the first athlete that comes to your head when you hear the likes of phrases "sports scandal" and "sex scandal."
The first name now would probably be Tiger Woods.
He has dented his once innocent image that the media created. But the media has shown it's power in this case in its attempts to erase an proven icon.
To err is human, and to forgive is divine. You don't have to forgive Tiger Woods. You can hate him for the rest of your life.
But give him time and privacy. You'd want it.
Bryant Maxwell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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