The infidelity of Tiger: After giving golf tips to a president,

his fall from grace is as Shakespearian as it is American.



Rue 89, France

Tiger Woods' Fall from Grace: Only in America


"There is something very American about this psychodrama in which a private matter brings down an icon who has done nothing to discredit himself in the domain that made him famous: golf. … Sport loses, but morality doesn't really gain."


By Pierre Haski*



Translated By Mary Kenney


December 13, 2009


France - Rue 89 - Original Article (French)

Rachel Uchitel, one of the thirteen women who are now thought to have had adulterous affairs with Tiger Woods, has gone public, along with a number of others.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Golf correspondent Iain Carter says it's hard to predict when Tiger Woods will return to the game, Aug. 15, 00:06:03RealVideo

It is the fall of an icon, and, more surprising to the French side of the Atlantic, the end of an immense sporting career because of conjugal infidelities (with a capital “I”). It's Tiger Woods, the ideal Black-American son-in-law before the sudden emergence of Barack Obama, the greatest professional golfer in history and also the richest (he's the first billionaire in sport, according to Forbes Magazine), who has announced that he's suspending his career indefinitely, after a cascade of revelations about his personal life.


The affair goes well beyond the celebrity headlines of American newspapers, because Tiger Woods, propelled to the rank of “role model,” was offered as an example of success to the world's young people - a man of African, Asiatic, Native American and European origins who is a success in a "White" sport. Everything positive that has ever been put forward about Obama had already been said about Tiger Woods!




His fall has all the hallmarks of a TV series: an accident in luxury car in the middle of a November night in a posh Florida neighborhood - and everything follows from there. The private life of the golfer, married to Swedish model Elin Nordegren with whom he has had two children, has been exposed: mistresses at every stop of the professional golf circuit, eleven by the last count of the American press …


And, as always, those who lionized the athlete at the height of his glory are piling on now that he's down. Tiger Woods is the object of lowbrow jokes on TV talk shows and American Web sites, or even morality lessons by popular editorialists.


For, not exactly a conservative Web site, Tiger Woods is “the bastard of the year,” while the Huffington Post is trying assiduously to explain the violence that ripped the spirit of the golfer’s wife, when she realized that her fairy tale was a tragic farce. 



The infidelity of Tiger Woods: Now immortalized in games,

videos and publications of all kinds.


There's already a video game [screen grab above] depicting his wife, the pursuer, with golf club in hand - an allusion to what might have happened the night of the accident, when his wife is suspected of having wanted to strike him with a golf club when she discovered his unfaithfulness. Cyber-surfers assume the role of Tiger Woods.




There is certainly something very American about this psychodrama, in which a private matter brings down from his pedestal an icon who, nonetheless, has done nothing to discredit himself in the domain that made him famous: golf. In just a single blow, a lie to his wife becomes a lie to all of his fans, his public, and his worshipers, who are no longer willing to tolerate the slightest flaw in the perfect statue that had been shaped by the communicators, by the sponsors, by the media.


And it was without the least bit of reticence that Tiger Woods, on his official Web site, announced that from now, he will devote himself to being “a better husband, a better father, a better person.” That's touching, but how does this concern us? Why tell the entire world?




De Volkskrant, The Netherlands: Tiger Woods: Fallen Star for a Public Age

The Times, U.K.: Tiger Woods 'Blackened' By All-White Trophy Cupboard

The Telegraph, U.K.: Tiger's Birdies Make Golf So 'Rock'n'Roll'


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Americans are fascinated by the ease with which, on this side of the Atlantic, we so easily close our eyes to accommodations with established morality - from the “two wives” of Francois Mitterand, both present at his funeral, to the adulterous affairs of the current president, and of course, without forgetting those of IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who felt the wind of the American Puritan cannonball pass very close last year. If Tiger Woods had been a Frenchman, he would have made the headlines of Voici, but would probably not have suspended his golfing career.  



But in truth, the suspension of Tiger Woods’ career owes little to morality and almost everything to reluctance of his sponsors, who were beginning to distance themselves this figure who yesterday was praised to the skies, and today is sulphurous. Sport loses, but morality doesn't really gain.


*Pierre Haski is co-founder of Rue 89



















































Posted by WORLDMEETS.US, Dec. 22, 3:19pm


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