Over the weekend, everyone heard about what happened with Tiger Woods. How he was leaving his house at like 2:30 in the morning, and got into a car accident. How his wife came outside and busted open the window of the car with one of his golf clubs. How he had to go to the hospital because, among other things, his face was looking like he got in a fight in a Lamborghini with Chris Brown.
Once the news hit, the rumor mill started spinning like rims on a 2009 Cadillac Escalade, and of course the most entertaining and scandalous rumor of them all was Tiger Woods was seeing a woman on the side. According to this New York Times article, in the 36 hours after news of the accident broke, over 3,200 stories were published in print and on the web, and without reading even 32 of them, I’m pretty sure most of them were running on the gossip juice.
Now I’m not one to keep the rumor mill churning. Personally, I believe the media should stop all the speculating. Unfortunately for Woods, speculating is so much fun. We’re all throwing rumors out their, just hoping Woods will confirm them. We want him to come right out with it and say he was doing something he shouldn’t. Bonus points if he holds a press conference and cops to adultery with his wife by his side like Kobe Bryant.
But if Tiger Woods cares about his family more than his fame, he won’t say a word. And by doing so, not only will he be protecting his clan, he will be protecting his race too, at least one half of it.
Cheating may not be a black thing, but damn if it isn’t portrayed that way in the media. The majority of great African-Americans, athletes especially, are almost always humanized by stories of adultery. Pay close attention to biopics like Ray (about Ray Charles) and Ali (about Muhammad Ali). Both movies exploit their difficulty with monogamy in an effort to make them seem more like us. Check out what Clint Eastwood who directed and produced an upcoming film about Nelson Mandela, entitled Invictus, said about meeting the man in the current issue of GQ:
GQ: When you met Mandela, did you learn anything from him on how to be, how to live?
Eastwood: Eh, no, because he was a guy who had a lot of faults…he had problems with women. I guess he liked…Ah I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that.
GQ: He said with a grin.
Eastwood: His private life was probably not as great as his public life. He’s a man underneath it all.
The implication of Eastwood’s answers is when it comes to women, men will be men, no matter their color, creed, or class.
Because cheating isn’t a black thing, or an Asian thing, it isn’t a football or a golfer thing, a rich thing or a poor thing. Cheating, I hate to say this, is a man thing; a grown man thing, and sometimes a little man, still in high school, thing. And sometimes, it’s a woman thing, although, men hate to hear that sort of thing. It has been my thing, it has been other men’s thing. It’s been the thing of fathers, husbands, brothers of sisters. Now, it could possibly be this one-of-the-most-famous-and-richest-athletes in the world thing,
But I’ll tell you what it isn’t. It isn’t a new thing.
Nobody should accept cheating in their relationship, but we should accept the fact that every man does it and it’s not bound to one particular group of men. As I said on Twitter the other day, if that man did in fact cheat on his wife, the “I Am Tiger Woods” slogan has become truer than it ever was.
When all the rumors about Tiger Woods cheating on his wife started to surface, and many women I know wanted to blame it on stupid things like him being black, I was reminded of the time I was playing Taboo.
Everyone knows how to play Taboo, the game where one person must refrain from using a list of clues to describe a person, place, or thing and his or her team must guess what it is based on other clues not listed. On this particular night, in this particular game, it was men against women, and it was the women’s turn. A woman picked up her card, and the first clue she gave was, “He cheated on his wife.”
From there, all the women started to scream the names of famous black men. I’m talking everybody from Kobe Bryant to dare I say, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unfortunately, all of those answers were incorrect. It wasn’t any of those guys. The final answer wasn’t even the same color as any of those guys. The final answer was actually white. You may have heard of him. His name is Bill Clinton.