Without doubt, it has been a bad week for tigers.
In a UK zoo, a real tiger does what it is programmed to do and a warden is mauled to death.
And in the US, another Tiger – albeit not a real Tiger – is laid low by the frailties of being a human being.
I am not going to dwell here. I am going to be on point and brief.
I admire Tiger Woods enormously – even more so than Federer or Messi and possibly because I play golf – a game that has until now at least, completely vanquished me.
I have little truck with the leftists who bandy about the race card to further their cause and stifle any debate. But in the case and life of Tiger Woods, I think calling out his race is entirely legitimate and valid. It is racism, pure and simple at play with how this extraordinary sportsman is considered.
Because Tiger Woods, as a black man, has dared to dominate the most white arenas of all. It is practically impossible to consider ‘Country Club’ without the idea of privilege and the word ‘privilege’ is rarely associated with with black people or people of colour – unless discussing their physical and sporting gifts – itself an area fraught with nuance and political meaning?
That said, I happen to believe that ‘black’ people are indeed bestowed with remarkable physical skills. But we feel more comfortable if this prowess is confined to the track or the field and less content if they encroach on the more flare or genteel sports.
Love him or loathe him, Tiger Woods is remarkable. Unequivocally, golf is the hardest game of them all (tennis is second) and Woods is the greatest of all time. Nick Faldo is the greatest proponent from the island that conceived golf and he has a paltry 6 majors to his name – Woods has more than twice as many.
And yet for all his achievements I have long been saddened not by his downfall – because great men are often fallible and always get discovered – but by how gleeful it seems that his downfall has been greeted by many – and in private if not in public (you know who you are.)
First his sexual failings, then his lack of form and now his continuing problems in his personal life – I can almost hear the glee in certain quarters and it saddens me. People casting dispersions and cocking a ‘told you so’ look to a man who is remarkable by what he has achieved and with the same clubs and balls available to every other golfer.
What I despise more than anything else is bullying – and taking glee in Tiger’s undoubted downfall is the very worst form of bullying.
Anyone with even a modicum of humanity should be saddened by Tiger’s current circumstances and wish him well.
And anything less is a poor reflection of humanity and can attributed to people who need help themselves and at least as much help as the remarkable Tiger Woods.