Tiger Woods: An Introvert or a Sly?

Reading time 5 min.

For the past fourteen years, since Tiger Woods made his first major mark as a professional golfer, he has impressed millions of people as one of the world’s most talented superstars. His love and dedication to work have won him several championship titles. In concert with what seemed like a squeaky clean image, he struck numerous first class endorsement deals, lending his name to a number of high quality products that yielded great returns for their producers. Nonetheless, one thing that sharply distinguished Woods from most of his contemporaries in the world of super stars is his resolve to keep his private life private – an attitude highly admired in the past but lately subject to questioning – following his extramarital scandal.

Undeniably, Woods has been having extra marital affair. The thirty-four year old pro golfer had been cheating on his wife of five years and mother of his two children, Elin. He called that conduct ‘transgressions’ in a vague apology posted to his website shortly after his car crash on November 27, 2009, when rumors started swelling around of an affair. This was after a first statement in which he had vehemently denied being involved in any such act. Not long after the ‘transgressions’ apology, Tiger announced via his website, that he wasn’t going to attend his own golf tournament, due to wounds he sustained from the car accident. This was followed by another online announcement of his decision to take a break from golf, to devote his attention to “being a better husband, father and person.” Without a doubt, Tiger’s reputation has suffered a significant blow, and so have his business deals. The once darling of the sports world has since become the subject of media bashing – and for comedians – they couldn’t ask for a better gift!

Infidelity in upper crust America is a huge scandal, compared to similar societies in other parts of the world, where even sitting presidents and heirs to prominent thrones who are caught in the act can go about their work and life as if nothing ever happened. The mere rumor of an affair by a famous married person in the United States is enough for the public to totally go gaga. Should the rumor be true, expect a bombshell! Evidently, the Tiger Woods scandal has borne all that and more. It started slowly with a tabloid story of an affair by the golfer, which escalated a couple of days later to every news channel, following his car crash on the morning after Thanksgiving Day. What followed that car crash however was what shocked the world the most: the surfacing of one alleged mistress after another; the number reaching ten and still going. Among the alleged mistresses are escorts, porn stars, cocktail waitresses, nightclub workers, and a pancake house waitress.

This is not the first bad press Woods has had since he became a super star, but it certainly can be the one that takes him down professionally if not managed properly. He raised eyebrows a few times when he behaved unruly in the middle of tournaments: angrily cursing – using profane words – hitting the fairway with his golf club, and even throwing the club away. Yet, such negative behaviors of the golfer barely survived a weekend in the news. His admirers were numerous, and so were his defenders. Some even sited the passing away of his father, Earl Wood to whom he was extremely close, as the reason he might be getting “out of character.”

Tiger was born Eldrick Tont Wood to an African American father and a Thai mother. His middle name, Tont, is a traditional Thai name. Tiger is a nickname given him after a friend of his father’s. Part of Wood’s father’s ancestry is of Chinese and Native American, while part of his mother’s is of Chinese and Dutch. Woods has referred to his ethnic make-up as Cablinasian – a term he coined from Caucasian, Black, Indian, and Asian: a pronouncement that got some African Americans, who thought he should declare himself as Black, unhappy.

Of course, this Cablinesian is known as one of the most private people in the celebrity world. However, he has stunned his fans and the public in a rather odd way with how he has handled his scandal so far. This is bringing his so-called love for privacy to question as to whether it is only a cover for his bad behaviors. Up to now, with the exception of the emergency service crew, some health care and law enforcement personnel who got involved in the immediate aftermath of Tiger’s car crash – which reportedly left him with some facial lacerations – not a public eye has been set on the golfer since the accident and incidents. Understandably, the public isn’t satisfied with how little the sports icon has reached out to them. As much as everyone, regardless of status, deserves to have his or her privacy, we automatically give up some of that when we become public figures. It is therefore not unfair for the public to be asking for a public appearance of Tiger Woods and a more detailed address of his scandal.

Forty days have passed since the Tiger Woods bombshell first exploded, and not even the lens of the tenacious paparazzi that can be trusted to capture the image of the proverbial lover ants making love in an ant hole, has succeeded in capturing a single image of the super star. Some say he is on a cruise in his mega yacht, named ‘privacy.’ Some say he’s hiding in a second house in Florida, eating cereals and playing golf. Others say he’s somewhere in Africa on a safari. Wherever Tiger may be, the one question that is worth asking is: Who, so widely-known, can pull off with hiding from the public so perfectly – perhaps skillfully – for this long, leaving everyone including the paparazzi only to speculate about his whereabouts? Probably, the very one who can pull off with cheating on his wife throughout his marriage with a dozen plus women without her knowing; and that is no compliment.

The Other Afrik  The Other Afrik is an alternative and multi-faceted information source from Afrik-News' panel of experts. Contributions include : opinions, reviews, essays, satires, research, culture and entertainment news, interviews, news, information, info, opinion, africa, african-american, europe, united states, international, caribbean, america, middle east, black, France, U.K.
Antoinette Herrmann-Condobrey
Antoinette Herrmann-Condobrey is a journalist from Ghana. She has a soft spot for magazine reporting, where she has functioned as editor and senior reporter. Her interests have largely been Arts and Culture reporting, Profiling and photojournalism – areas which she describes as ones that “bring out the human in me.” But don’t be surprised to find her exerting equal passion for a host of issues – from politics through technology to the environment.
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