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Let Tiger Be Tiger
The Daily Oklahoman-NewsOK.com ^ | 2002-07-19 | Oklahoman Editorial

Posted on 07/19/2002 9:37:47 AM PDT by rwfok

BREATHES there a celebrity with clout so high who can resist the urge to spout off about the latest social injustice, menace to mankind or whatever political cause is capturing the media's fancy?

Apparently, Tiger Woods can.

Woods, while focused on winning the British Open, was peppered with questions about the practice of some established golfing clubs to restrict membership to men. The world's best golfer essentially said it was none of his business how these clubs set their rules.

Which is the right answer. Because it isn't any of his business.

That wouldn't stop the celebrities of today who are closet politicians, kingmakers or editorial writers. Par for the course for them is freely expressing opinions that generally bend toward the left or politically correct side of an issue.

Thus we've seen Alec Baldwin dancing between movie roles and playing the part of a political hit man. We've seen movie stars threaten to leave the country if Al Gore didn't win the presidency. (Why are they still here?)

Storyteller Garrison Keillor has used public radio, partially funded by taxpayers, to push his leftist positions. Stars such as Julia Roberts testify before Congress and use talk show appearances to show how enlightened and politically aware they are. Who cares?

Our response to this nauseating display is this: Stand for office. Give up the big bucks. Enter the trenches of politics. Slug it out in the halls of government rather than merely exploit society's celebrity worship.

Instead, most of them are content to trade on their fame, engaging in drive-by political forays. It's not hard for them to get publicity for a cause. It's not risky, and it doesn't cost them a cent.

Ronald Reagan and Jesse Ventura cashed in on their famous names. But they did it by running for office, risking a humiliating defeat. So did Fred Thompson, a minor celebrity who won a seat in the U.S. Senate. Arnold Schwarzenegger is considering a future run for governor in California. (If he loses he can always say, "I'll be back!")

Woods, though, isn't comfortable in the role of world- changer. He wants to play golf. He devotes his time between tournaments to promote causes that aren't political. Yet those who want to abolish men-only golf courses think Woods should tee up their cause and hit that ball as far as his fame can take it.

It's not that Tiger likes the status quo at institutions such as Augusta National in Georgia, site of the Masters Tournament. He just doesn't think he should be leading the charge to change it. His critics, while saying nothing about women-only schools and universities, are disappointed that Woods let an opportunity pass to demand change while the issue has some traction.

By the way, it's absurd to compare the men-only club rule with policies that once excluded blacks or Jews. Should women and men compete in the same golf tournaments? Is it "sexist" to insist that women can't compete against men in tournaments with the biggest payoffs?

Perhaps. But as Woods might say, that's just the way it is.

What Woods said -- or didn't say -- is a breath of fresh air in the era of the celebrity cult. He signaled his reluctance to take a strong position on a controversial matter. Maybe he'll stop being asked.

At last: Someone from the ranks of the rich and famous who can avoid the temptation to play the politician without actually exposing himself to defeat at the polls.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: augusta; tiger
This may be a response to the sports editorial that appeared in the Oklahoman a couple of days ago. It was very similar to a number of articles that appeared across the country deriding Tiger on his choice not to become embroiled in the debate over Augusta.

Here is the article from Wednesday. By the way, when did the DNC start faxing talking points to sports journalists?

1 posted on 07/19/2002 9:37:47 AM PDT by rwfok
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To: rwfok
Sorry, here is the article from yesterday.

Tiger whiffs on his big shot to take a stand

2 posted on 07/19/2002 9:41:32 AM PDT by rwfok
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To: rwfok
"By the way, it's absurd to compare the men-only club rule with policies that once excluded blacks or Jews. Should women and men compete in the same golf tournaments? Is it "sexist" to insist that women can't compete against men in tournaments with the biggest payoffs? "

The issue isn't whether women should compete in the Masters. It's whether or not Tiger Woods should compete in a tournament that's held by a club that doesn't allow female members (both the Masters and the British Open qualify in this regard).

3 posted on 07/19/2002 9:43:29 AM PDT by RonF
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To: rwfok

Woods, though, isn't comfortable in the role of world- changer. He wants to play golf. He devotes his time between tournaments to promote causes that aren't political. Yet those who want to abolish men-only golf courses think Woods should tee up their cause and hit that ball as far as his fame can take it.

It's as if she (Martha Burk, chairwoman National Council of Women's Organizations that started the flap) and the media expect they have a right of passage over Tiger Woods wherein he must accommodate them.

Tiger handled the media questions superbly.

4 posted on 07/19/2002 9:55:02 AM PDT by Zon
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To: rwfok
As I have said before, Tiger is an athlete who lets his club do his talking.
5 posted on 07/19/2002 9:56:46 AM PDT by Movemout
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To: Movemout
CLUBS!
6 posted on 07/19/2002 9:57:20 AM PDT by Movemout
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To: RonF
The issue isn't whether women should compete in the Masters. It's whether or not Tiger Woods should compete in a tournament that's held by a club that doesn't allow female members (both the Masters and the British Open qualify in this regard).

Why shouldn't he compete wherever he wants? Why shouldn't men have a place where they want to hang around together (or women, for that matter)? Why is it any of our business?

7 posted on 07/19/2002 10:13:12 AM PDT by yendu bwam
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To: yendu bwam
I never said it wasn't. I was simply correcting a misstatement in the story as to what the issue was. No one is proposing that women be allowed to compete with men in PGA, USGA, or other golf events, but that is what the paragraph I quoted seems to say.
8 posted on 07/19/2002 10:15:49 AM PDT by RonF
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To: All
The left tries to politicize everything, to persecute everyone. A male-only golf club; the left turns this into crime against humanity.....
9 posted on 07/19/2002 10:20:12 AM PDT by Malcolm
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To: RonF
What bothers me about this entire mess is that the reporters - as far as I can tell - have not asked any of the other male golfers why they do not speak out. Guys like Woods and other minority sports figures who broke color barriers did so because THEY ARE SO DAMN GOOD at what they do. If a woman came around, played with Tiger Woods and consistantly beat him, course and sponsers would line up behind her.
10 posted on 07/19/2002 10:22:38 AM PDT by 7thson
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To: RonF
I read the paragraph you quoted as an aside, followed by a couple of rhetorical question. I believe that the rest of the article shows that the author has a pretty good grasp of the issue at hand.

Besides, is the issue whether Tiger should play at the Masters or is it if Tiger's fame and celebrity should be hijacked to support a political cause? Was Lee Elder attacked by sports columnists for not getting on a soapbox when he became the first black player at Augusta?

11 posted on 07/19/2002 10:29:53 AM PDT by rwfok
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To: RonF
Fair enough, RonF. As a member in a golf club, I wouldn't vote to disallow women, or join such a club. But I do believe in the freedom of association, and that those who want to peaceably get together should be allowed to.
12 posted on 07/19/2002 10:33:17 AM PDT by yendu bwam
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To: RonF
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe that was a mistatement. The author of this piece was just trying to prove that women vs. men is different than minorities vs. whites by pointing out that we, as a society, still don't consider it "sexist" to seperate men and women's golf tournements. If we can seperate men and women in one area, it is logical to argue that we can seperate them in other areas.
13 posted on 07/19/2002 10:37:55 AM PDT by Tublecane
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To: 7thson
I don't think they ask other male golfers anything except "Why Can't You Beat Tiger?"
14 posted on 07/19/2002 10:43:05 AM PDT by triplejake
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To: rdb3; Khepera; elwoodp; MAKnight; South40; condolinda; mafree; Trueblackman; FRlurker; ...
Black conservative ping

If you want on (or off) of my black conservative ping list, please let me know via FREEPmail. (And no, you don't have to be black to be on the list!)

15 posted on 07/19/2002 10:44:54 AM PDT by mhking
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To: mhking
Amen to Let "Tiger be Tiger" the guy is a poster child for the work ethic and an American Treasure.
16 posted on 07/19/2002 12:16:13 PM PDT by Mike Darancette
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To: rwfok
AMEN! Excellent response.
17 posted on 07/19/2002 12:33:11 PM PDT by RAT Patrol
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To: rwfok
Augusta is Augusta... they didn't offer Arnold Palmer a membership until over 20 years after his first Masters win.

They protect their membership rolls very tightly. Kudos for Tiger for not becoming too embroiled in other people's battles.

18 posted on 07/19/2002 12:34:32 PM PDT by zoyd
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To: yendu bwam
I agree. Here we go again trying to MAKE you like me and me like you. When will they ever learn that we have minds of our own and will be with whomever we choose no matter what. Tiger Woods is a class act. He is a giant in his sport. A gentleman at all times. A son to be proud of. A role model for young people without even trying and yes, he lets his clubs do the talking. You stand tall Tiger Woods. You are a credit to Golf and to your family and to your country. We are very proud of you and you did indeed respond to the question in the correct manner. Keep up the good work!
19 posted on 07/19/2002 2:17:33 PM PDT by cubreporter
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To: cubreporter
I agree with everything you said about Tiger, but someone will be along shortly to disagree with you and condemn him because he swears. No kidding. Just wait.
20 posted on 07/19/2002 2:21:20 PM PDT by Trust but Verify
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To: rwfok
I was happy to see Tiger say what he did. The intro to the clip, though, was couched in terms of Tiger becoming embroiled in controversy for failing to take a stand for equal accomodation. I also enjoyed his forthrightness towards the photographers flashing their strobes as he was standing over the ball. I would have enjoyed it even more if it had extended to a little Happy Gilmore-like treatment of them.
21 posted on 07/19/2002 3:05:14 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: RonF
The issue isn't whether women should compete in the Masters. It's whether or not Tiger Woods should compete in a tournament that's held by a club that doesn't allow female members (both the Masters and the British Open qualify in this regard).

Well, of course he should, if he wants to. Just as, in the same way, the owners of a club should be able to exclude anyone they want from membership. As Tiger said, "It's a private club. They set the rules."
22 posted on 07/19/2002 3:08:43 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: RonF
It's whether or not Tiger Woods should compete in a tournament that's held by a club that doesn't allow female members ....

I wonder what NOW would have said had he applied to Wellesley rather than Stanford?

23 posted on 07/19/2002 4:40:32 PM PDT by dodger
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To: aruanan
Well, that's what Tiger thinks. Apparently, however, there are those who would like Tiger to use his celebrity and his unarguable leverage to support their agenda.
24 posted on 07/21/2002 8:39:39 PM PDT by RonF
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