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Old 12-16-2009, 07:00 AM   #1
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Default Tiger Woods's Cold Embrace

An opinion piece from someone at the Guardian here. Seems this writer's view of Woods is that his misdeeds are not primarily of the marital variety. Interesting stuff, wonder how some of it reflects on tennis players too.

Tiger Woods' self-imposed exile from golf is the most stunning and stunningly rapid fall from grace in the history of sport. Not since Shoeless Joe Jackson was banned from baseball after being dubiously blamed for helping throw the 1919 World Series have we seen such a supersonic transition from heroism to heel. And not since Michael Jordan retired from basketball in 1993, following the murder of his father, has a world-class athlete voluntarily taken himself out of his sport in his prime. Woods' exile may last three months or it may last three years. But one thing is certain: unlike the 24-hour, wall-to-wall sleaze that's dominated the airwaves since the initial revelations of Woods' infidelity, this is actual news. After 14 years of being protected by the press, the Tiger has become carrion. And now, the greatest golfer in history is walking away.

The jury is out on whether Tiger's retreat makes him more sympathetic. But years from now when we look back at this saga, I hope we remember that Woods didn't choose to leave golf until his sponsors left him. Woods announced his departure on 11 December. He hadn't been on a primetime commercial since 29 November, three days after the accident, according to the Nielson Company.

The "global consulting company" Accenture dropped him from the homepage of its website. AT&T told him not to call. Gillette said that they could find others to shave for the camera. Every part of Tiger Woods Incorporated sized up his moment of desperate need and, instead of offering solidarity and support, ran for cover.

Only a couple of companies decided to stand by Woods. "Tiger has been part of Nike for more than a decade," the company said in a statement. "He is the best golfer in the world and one of the greatest athletes of his era. We look forward to his return to golf. He and his family have Nike's full support." This is hardly surprising. Tiger has made Nike untold treasure while resisting pressure to say word one about the labour practices that define the company's profit margins.....
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