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Posted by on Nov 30, 2009 in Media, Society | 11 comments

Awww, Tiger Woods Wants his Privacy Now

Tiger.jpgPatrick already asked some questions about the recent Tiger Woods car accident story, but now we have a statement from the legendary golfer himself. For those of you who missed it over the holiday break, Tiger was apparently involved in a “single car accident” where he damaged a fire hydrant and plowed into a tree outside his home, suffering some non-life threatening injuries, particularly to his face. Police say no alcohol or drugs were involved, so this might have been one of those unfortunate little incidents where we are all simply thankful he wasn’t more seriously hurt and move on with our lives.

But rumors have been swirling and details seem to contradict a simple automotive steering failure. Tiger’s wife was on the scene with a golf club, allegedly smashing in windows to rescue him from the vehicle. Others are saying she was actually attacking Tiger with the club. And stories have already been making the rounds that Woods may have a girlfriend on the side. And now Tiger has responded.

This is a private matter and I want to keep it that way. Although I understand there is curiosity, the many false, unfounded and malicious rumors that are currently circulating about my family and me are irresponsible…

This incident has been stressful and very difficult for Elin, our family and me. I appreciate all the concern and well wishes that we have received. But, I would also ask for some understanding that my family and I deserve some privacy no matter how intrusive some people can be.

Sounds like a reasonable request, right? I mean, this is America, after all. But the question isn’t quite that simple. Much has been made of the fact that Tiger Woods was the first professional athlete to make more than one billion dollars. But only ten percent of that was from winnings on the PGA Tour. The rest came from endorsements. His name, face and image are plastered on advertisements for everything from sports equipment to cars to sports drinks to the highly lucrative EA Sports video games franchise of Tiger Woods Golf. (Still one of the all time best sellers in the United States.)

In America, when you’re a regular old private citizen, you should have a reasonable expectation of a very high degree of privacy. What you do in your own home on your own time is your business as long as you’re not hurting anyone else or breaking the law. But Tiger is no longer a member of that club. When you accept all those checks and sign on the line, you put yourself out there with not just your name, but with your whole person as the face and image of those companies who pay you. You move from the status of professional athlete to something more like a role model. People have questions about you, and the companies who pay you, along with the legions of kids and consumers who buy into that product line expect answers. In short, you have become something of a celebrity on top of being a professional athlete.

The fact is, celebrities accept a certain reduction in their expectation of privacy when they move into that world by their own choice and for their own profit. It’s not quite as bad as being an elected official, of course. When you run for elected office, you effectively sacrifice all but the most rudimentary privacy in what you do in the bedroom and the bathroom. But for somebody in Tiger’s level of public involvement, it’s not much better. So, Mr. Woods, stop lecturing us about intruding on your privacy. You chose this life, you cashed the checks, you put your face, your name and your image out there to fatten your bank accounts. And this is part of the price that comes with that. Man up, Tiger.

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Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • shannonlee

    “Man up, Tiger.”

    Interesting response. Sounds like you have more problems with Tiger Woods than just his request for privacy.

  • kritt11

    So, if the companies that give him endorsements want to know more they can ask him. If the consumers who buy the products from those companies want to know more they can stop buying the products.

    The rest of us can just move on. No one is pressing charges– in which case it would be police (and our) business. No one died.
    What probably happened is that Tiger’s wife read the Enquirer and chased him out of the house with his golf club. She ran to his car and bashed in the back window as he drove into the hydrant. Then his cuts were treated at the hospital and he went home.:)

  • pacatrue

    Man up, Jazz, and stop caring about something that isn’t your business.


  • mikkel

    Uh, Tiger Woods is “notorious” for being reticent about his private life and not living out in public. He didn’t make his money because he sold himself as tabloid fodder, just to appear in some commercials. It would be one thing if it were Beckham or other sports playboys, but it’s not.

    So yeah, ditto pacatrue.

  • Yikes, I’ve got to agree with the rest of the commenters: you nor we are “owed” anything he does not wish to give us, including personal details that are none of our business.

    Honestly, none of us know whether Tiger’s wife is a hero or an abuser in this story. However, it’s clear that if Tiger is a victim of domestic violence, he would have all the same reasons as any DV victim to cover up that abuse, and perhaps more given the stigma against male victims because of the cult of masculinity that follows men in this culture (particularly our athletes). It’s also clear that even if there were no evidence whatsoever for abuse, it would be in the monetary interest of newspapers and tabloids to continue spreading the rumors.

    Also: “man up”? Really? I thought that phrase was pretty much relegated to dudebro 20-somethings at this point.

  • rvmike

    I’m a little concerned that Tiger is covering up a domestic disturbance which could lead to charges against his wife for “domestic battery”? These are serious charges these days and she may also need help with her temper. Whether Tiger did something wrong or not to perpetrate a violent situation is not the issue, rather is he a victim of domestic battery or not..

  • DLS

    As usual, few care much, if at all, about what happened, but it became real news once the coverup began.

    I wonder if previous experience with politicians and with other celebrities is being applied here, now.

  • DLS

    [“Man up, Tiger.”]

    “Interesting response.”

    Would you have said the same thing if a commentator, or someone in Congress, during Watergate had said the same about Nixon?

    • pacatrue

      Because a celebrity possibly doing something we don’t know is related to the President ordering an illegal break-in in what way?

      • DLS

        “Because a celebrity […] is related to the President […] in what way?”

        As I’ve already addressed: the cover-up, which makes it bigger news.

  • kritt11

    DLS- While celebrities do live in the public eye, they are not public servants who are supported by our taxes. If Tiger and his wife have had a domestic incident, it is up to one of them to press charges. If they decide not to, there’s nothing anybody can do about it.

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