I’m just going to rip the duct tape off here because to put it delicately would lessen my point: Tiger Woods doesn’t have the moral high ground to tell anybody what to do. He has every authority in every other aspect of the LIV argument — 15 major wins, status in the game, still (kind of) playing, and on and on. He’s certainly right about what he said, and I 100 percent agree that the Saudi Tour is a disgrace.
Rory McIlroy and Tiger fanboy Justin Thomas also agree with the golf icon. The Northern Irishman said Woods’ decision to talk at a players-only meeting before this week’s BMW Championship showed “how much he cares about the (PGA) Tour. I think it shows how much he cares about the players that are coming through and are going to be the next generation.”
Thomas was even more laudatory of the appearance.
“It’s huge. If someone like [Woods] is passionate about it, no offense to all of us, that’s really all that matters.”
The issue with deifying someone and calling them “the hero that we all looked up to” like McIlroy said is it yadda-yaddas the stuff we’re not supposed to talk about with Woods. While I’m sure Phil, DJ, and all of those other Saudi defectors will say nothing but respectful things about Woods publicly, do you think they’re going to heed the words of a guy who had a porn parody made about him?
Tiger is about as messy as any non-canceled great athlete we’ve ever had — save for Kobe Bryant. The what about-ism is rampant in any argument about ethical behavior, and we know how much those who do shady shit love to shift the focus to other peoples’ faults. Woods’ chumminess with unofficial LIV mascot Donald Trump definitely isn’t overlooked by the golfers currently being skewered for pledging their allegiance to the Saudi crown prince.
Like most people who grew up finding it odd when Woods wouldn’t win a major, I’m a fan of Tiger. I played his video game, drank his Gatorade, and hit his golf balls. He’s one of the greatest golfers ever if not the greatest.
Now, would I say that young people should follow his blueprint off the course? Fuck no.
So great, I’m happy there was an alpha in the clubhouse. What about outside of it though? How much can a billionaire, who’s been popped for DUI with a medley of drugs in his system, who’s golfed with Trump, who cheated on the mother of his children with half of Florida, really admonish anyone for unbecoming behavior in any facet of life? His list of misdeeds reads like that of an NFL owner.
So forgive me if I didn’t break out the trumpets and hush the crowd before the king spoke. Also, if the Jordan Belforts over at the Saudi Tour really gave a fuck what anyone besides the hot blonde across the musky bar thinks about them, the players’ only summit would’ve taken place before Greg Norman handed a single golfer a greasy LIV contract.
I’m glad Tiger turned down more than half a billion dollars from the Saudis, and it’s nice to see him using his influence against it. That’s it though. Hero? The only one who matters? How about morally ambiguous enough to root for and not hate yourself?