Charles Barkley, Tiger Woods, and Billy Payne Are Not Role Models

Colin LinneweberSenior Writer IApril 13, 2010

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 11:  Tiger Woods waits to play his tee shot on the third hole during the final round of the 2010 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2010 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

Legendary basketball superstar Charles Barkley justifiably criticized the chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club this week for negative comments he made about Tiger Woods and his serial philandering immediately prior to The Masters Tournament.

“It is simply not the degree of his conduct that is so egregious here,” said Billy Payne, who replaced Hootie Johnson as Augusta’s presiding officer in 2006. “It is the fact that he disappointed all of us, and more importantly, our kids and grandkids. Our hero did not live up to the expectations of the role model we saw for our children.”

Payne continued when a reporter asked him if Woods could potentially redeem himself.

“Is there a way forward? I hope, yes. I think, yes. But certainly, his future will never again be measured only by his performance against par, but measured by the sincerity of his efforts to change. I hope he realizes that every kid he passes on the course wants his swing but would settle for his smile.”

Barkley is close friends with Woods and he harshly chastised Payne for his remarks.

“I don’t know who the hell he thinks he is,” said Barkley, 47, an 11-time NBA All-Star selection. “That’s Tiger Woods' personal life. That has nothing to do with golf.”

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After Barkley verbally pimp-slapped Payne, he stated that you’d have to have your “head in the sand” not to think Woods is judged differently than other golfers because he is black.

For a change, the abrasively opinionated Barkley is correct with all of his contentions.

Woods only owes his family and loved ones an apology, and Payne had some set of pearls to disparage the best golfer in the world a mere day before he returned to the links.

Woods has been in the glaring limelight ever since his sexcapades emerged last autumn.

It is unfathomable that the chairman of Augusta would reinvigorate and further contribute to Woods’ woes.

Additionally, it is unrealistic to believe that Woods as an African American is not judged separately in a predominately white sport such as golf.

Barkley once stated in a Nike television commercial that he was “not a role model.” Once again, Barkley was accurate with his sentiments.

Barkley is, like everyone, a flawed individual who happened to be one of the greatest players ever to grace the hardwood.

Woods is, like everyone, a flawed individual who happens to be the preeminent golfer in the world today.

Payne is a Masters official who should close his mouth and know his role.

Barkley, Woods, and Payne are not legitimate “role models.”

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