Major golf tournaments have been steeped in controversy and controversy erupted once again on Monday when the golfing great Tiger Woods withdrew from this week’s U.S. Open, citing a persistent injury to his back that prevented him from sitting and hitting shots on the range for two days. Woods was honored as the recipient of this year’s Charlie Sifford Legacy Award, a new golf honor that recognizes “a trailblazer whose exemplary spirit and leadership embodies the values of the NBA Jackie Robinson award.”
Tiger Woods says the reasons he will not play in the U.S. Open are back issues. That’s just a
joke. — Kevin ODonnell Fox (@ODonnellFox) August 14, 2017
According to the committee honoring Woods, he is not a stereotypical “black golfer” in the vein of Jackie Robinson. In a press release from the committee, it was said that he had “exhibited his unique brand of competitive spirit and passion.” The trophy that accompanies his award is inscribed: “He stands out like a beacon in a crowd because he has lived so fully and exemplifies the celebration of the incredible spirit of golf as a human interaction.”
One of the committee members, CNBC golf analyst Marc Sandalow, called Woods a “transcendent athlete,” while another member, former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter, offered a striking opinion on the assertion that Woods does not fit the mold of a stereotypical black golfer.
“He and his game and his competitive spirit are very similar to me,” Carter said. “He is a black player, for sure, but he is also my athlete, my champion.”
Tiger Woods Foundation: It’s time to say thank you! Thank you @jackierobinsongolf and the people who raised this $$! https://t.co/CLOOIaAVzc — Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) July 31, 2017
One of the head honchos of the winner-who-shall-not-be named came from an unlikely source — Jack Nicklaus. “Tiger has evolved over the years,” Nicklaus said in a press release, “and I admire his courage in fighting his personal issues. I hope he will soon resume his professional life and continue to inspire young men and women.”
Featured image is from YouTube.