Tiger Woods, arguably the preeminent athlete of his generation, is making a comeback. Woods’ record in golf is simply amazing. He is an 11-time player of the year, winner of 79 PGA events, and a 14-time winner of the sport’s major championships. And now, ten years after his last major win, he is climbing the world rankings. But it is what he said after his final round Sunday that is making news. Tiger Woods was asked to comment on President Trump. He obliged. His comments may surprise.
Moments after finishing 14 strokes behind the winner at the Ridgewood Championship Course in New Jersey (losing to someone named Bryson DeChambeau), he gave several interviews, as he does after every round. But in his final interview, rather than answering questions about the state of his game or the Ryder Cup, he was asked about President Trump, immigration policies, and the president’s feud with LeBron James.
Woods was asked by a reporter from the New York Times about his relationship with Trump, with whom he has played golf, and whether that relationship is “professional or personal.”
“Well, I’ve known Donald for a number of years,” he began. “We’ve played golf together. We’ve had dinner together. I’ve known him pre-presidency and obviously during his presidency.”
There was a follow-up rambling question. “Immigrants are threatened by him and his policies while he has gotten himself into sports debates in terms of race with people like LeBraon James. And in regard to the National Anthem, what do you say to people who might find it interesting that you have a friendly relationship with him?”
Woods answered politely and diplomatically. “Well, he’s the President of the United States. You have to respect the office. No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike his politics or personality, but we all must respect the office.”
To his credit, Tiger had already conducted interviews with SKY Sports, CBS, The Golf Channel, and PGA Tour Radio – after completing 18 holes of golf. His final question was about whether he wanted to comment on race relationships.
Woods said, “No. I’ve just finished 72 holes and I’m hungry.”
He was then escorted to a waiting car which would take him to his private plane. He would soon be on his way back home to Florida.
Woods is to be congratulated for not taking the bait. He seems to have figured out what the NFL is missing. Sports fans want to watch sports. They don’t tune in to watch political protests or to see athletes tear down the leader of our country – no matter who he is.