4 Reasons Tiger Woods Scandals Get Too Much Salacious Coverage

Other Sports | February 26, 2021

A member of Hidden Take’s writing staff was in a golf store on Wednesday, preparing for a new season of shanks and slices on muni links. Dustin Johnson was giving a Golf Channel advice session on a nearby TV. Coping with bad news about Tiger Woods was not the subject of The Cheetah’s practice-tee talk.

“What in blazes is this?” said a white-haired lady customer. “How’s Tiger doing? Why aren’t they talking about him?”

Demand for Tiger Woods coverage following Woods’ almost-fatal crash can’t be measured. He moves the needle. Tiger’s not merely a golf champion or a sports-world icon, but a rare outspoken celeb who is loved by those on all sides of politics. But too many pundits have chosen to distort, exaggerate, or smear Woods’ personal affairs as opposed to just reporting on them.

Tiger deals with double-standards and incendiary media even more often than Ronaldo and other worldwide stars. Here’s Hidden Take’s four reasons why Tiger Woods news cycles are far more salacious than they ought to be.

He’s an Outspoken Man of Color

Tiger Woods was welcomed by the golf establishment as a young man, even by formerly racist institutions like Augusta National. There is no evidence of any systemic racism at work against Tiger on the PGA Tour, where the leaderboard counts and everything else is an excuse. But the sex scandals that sullied Woods in the early 2000s were inflated by the media, in part because of Tiger’s former interracial marriage, and because resentment of Woods’ outspoken and cocky attitude was festering in a way not often seen with vain white golfers.

Coverage of Tiger’s extramarital affairs began with the National Enquirer, that tabloid you see at the supermarket next to “Alien Discovered in Pasadena!” headlines. Yet the Enquirer’s “reporting” was taken as gospel by mainstream bloggers who trashed Tiger in 2009 and 2010. The legitimacy of “news” on world affairs from CNN, Fox News, and NBC in 2021 is routinely questioned, but 11 years ago, a tabloid screed about Tiger Woods was taken as fact. That’s very suspicious from a racial POV, especially given that Tiger’s alleged porn-starlet girlfriend was as Caucasian as Elin Nordegren, his now-ex wife.

America’s Golf Press Has Never Liked Him

Bias against Tiger in the Associated Press and other media was apparent long before Woods’ infidelity became a worldwide scandal. Tiger was slammed for swing adjustments and gear-sponsorship changes following a streak of seven major titles in four years. Golf’s #1 player appeared to slump in the majors, and was mocked for saying he played “beautifully” in a watershed 2005 Masters win. Soon, the cynics were proven wrong again as Tiger embarked on another run of domination of the likes golf crowds have rarely witnessed, posting winning scores of -18 in the British Open and PGA Championship.

His Fans Are Fiercely Loyal

Celebrities like Kanye West can boast of bigger daily splashes on social media than Tiger Woods can. But the icon’s reserved presence has its upside too. Tiger’s legions of outspoken fans are matched – or exceeded five-fold – by millions of “quiet” Tiger Woods fanatics who, in fear of being stereotyped for an interest in “the most boring TV sport,” don’t always admit to tuning-in alone when Tiger has a chance to win on Sunday. Woods’ fiercely-loyal fan base has endured everything from drastic health-scares to sex scandals, and if Tiger’s latest rehab efforts are successful, could even translate to Senior PGA Tour appearances, in which players with bad legs can legally drive carts.

We Can’t Resist Tiger’s Real-Life Drama

If there was any “Tiger fatigue” in the early 2000s, it happened because Woods seemed to lead such a perfect life that it made everybody mad. Tiger was the greatest sportsman of an era, a wealthy businessman with a famous wife. It took a series of self-destructive choices, mishaps, injuries, and even last week’s car crash to remind us how fragile a superhero athlete can be.

Yet when Woods returned to win at Augusta in 2019, his story changed from a tragedy to an incredible drama, with plenty of room for a happy ending. Americans love happy endings, and we’ll always love Tiger thanks to one of the best sports-comebacks of all time.

Kurt Boyer

Kurt has authored close to 1000 stories covering football, soccer, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, prize-fighting and the Olympic Games. Kurt posted a 61% win rate on 200+ college and NFL gridiron picks last season. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.

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