If the blurry image is Tiger, it marks the first time the disgraced golf star has been seen in public since his Thanksgiving car crash.
Woods is undergoing sexual addiction rehabilitation at the Gentle Path clinic in the city of Hattiesburg, according to several reports from gossip websites and local television stations.
The National Enquirer claims the photo, which shows a scruffy-faced man wearing a hood and hat, was taken at the facility.
Tiger Woods is a black athlete. He isn’t "Caublinasian," mixed or any other ethnicity. He is, officially, a black man – especially after being reduced to being an adulterer who sleeps with porn stars. At least that’s what guests on the Joy Behar Show seem to think.
During a recent episode, a guest on the show, Karith Foster, was asked what she thought about Tiger’s recent indiscretions. In response to the question, the comedian said (without cracking a smile) that Tiger is "acting like a black athlete now."
I was shocked to hear these words come out of the mouth of any person, let alone an African-American woman. Dr. Deborah Stroman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was the first person to bring the comments to my attention. She and I both agreed that the statement was an outrageous, irresponsible choice of words, and the host should have challenged her immediately. But Foster’s comments might be telling, given that she once relegated herself to being the token black sidekick of a man (Don Imus) famous for referring to black women as "nappy headed hoes." Foster was fired not too long after being hired, which reminds us of the complications that come from making deals with the devil just to keep a job in media.
Needless to say, I was disappointed with Ms. Foster’s remarks. I also found it quite ironic that no one went out of their way to compare Woods with other black men when he was the clean cut soldier boy with the billion dollar smile. At that time, he was considered the exception to the rule, something that all of America could easily embrace. Some have decided to associate the "black male" side of Tiger with the seedy character who has emerged over the past two weeks. Such comparisons are insulting to good black men everywhere. At the same time, it should be acknowledged that not every American shares the opinion of Karith Foster.
Let’s be clear, Tiger Woods is not seedy, nor is he perfect. In reality, he is simply human. The problem is that we were all led to believe that he was super human, so the Tiger we are seeing today appears sub-human. Tiger Woods was the original Barack Obama, a man who injected hope into the psyches of sports fans everywhere, as we were all inspired to see a man with a brown face whipping the greatest golfers in history. Even to this day, Tiger is usually the only man of color on the golf course, and he is almost always the most dominant.
It will be interesting to see how the world processes Tiger’s recent mistakes. It is not inconceivable that Tiger could be "OJ Simpsonized" by this incident, especially if additional dirt is leaked to the public. If you recall, OJ was also an athlete who’d been given permission to spend a significant amount of time with white women before the murder took place. After his trial, however, he was considered to be the most morally depleted man in America.
Tiger Woods has a problem and now so do I. I was naïve to think that I could survive this holiday season of Tigervision with its seemingly minute-by-minute reports of his self-described transgressions. Every media outlet needs a story to remain viable in this world of at-your-touch news and Tiger’s naughtiness provides the perfect scoop. This tale probably has no beginning and quite possibly no end. However, my nerves became frayed and I saw the immediate end of my sideline observer role when I changed the channel and popped in on the Joy Behar Show. As they discussed the latest Tiger escapade, Ms. Behar cleverly asked for insight on how the African-American community might possibly feel about his sins. Her query was directed to a female African-American guest, Karith Foster, who calmly stated that Tiger was finally acting like a black athlete. Pump your brakes!
Although Ms. Foster’s listed occupation is comedian, she made her bold statement sans smile or giggle. She was very serious and obviously hurt by his choice of women in this scandal. She went on to describe how the black athlete needs a white woman – a trophy wife – to be successful. Ms. Foster’s understanding of the black male athlete is a stereotype and confusion-filled. Shame on her and the media for supporting the racist mindset that promulgates a representation of the black male athlete as a superhuman man that seeks sexual pleasure from every white female that worships his athletic prowess. Surely we in 2009 know better, right? Yes, the ESPNification of our sports world has created larger than life entertainment figures. Money, power and women. That’s the ticket out of a poor situation – mentally and physically. It is no longer satisfactory to score a touchdown and hand the ball to the referee or dunk the basketball and hustle back to play defense. Instead we see many of our athletes (and more likely a black man) showboating, drawing attention to themselves, and discounting the teamwork necessary to achieve such success. We as fans are drawn to the television waiting to see the clownish antics instead of running to the restroom or going back for more chips.
Today while hanging out with Rev. Al Sharpton in the studio, I found my mind reflecting deeply on the recent drama between Tiger Woods and his wife, Elin Nordegren. In spite of the fact that I was sitting next to the man who epitomizes race relations in America, no one brought up the fact that Tiger Woods is involved in an inter-racial marriage. It wasn’t because we were afraid to go there, it was just that there were more pressing issues to discuss.
Even though Rev. Sharpton and I discussed everything except for the fact that Tiger’s wife is white, one of the callers slammed the issue on the table like a five pound slab of raw chicken. The caller made the old OJ Simpson argument: "Had he been with a sister, none of this would have happened."
While I don’t agree with the caller’s assertion (we know that marital drama knows no racial boundaries), I found it interesting that some of the black women in the studio smirked and looked at the floor, as if to say, "I hear ya girl." These smirks were not built on agreeing with what the woman said, but rather, on the disappointment and resentment that many black women have felt about the fact that Tiger Woods almost never seemed to show any interest in African American females. Unlike guys like myself, who admire Tiger for his achievements, I know a long list of black women who could care less if Tiger were to take his golf clubs and jump off the side of a 10-story building.