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After Shunning His Black Fan Base For Years, It’s About Time For Tiger Woods To Lose His Black Support

Tiger Woods returns to golf this week in Arizona, and questions come to mind: Do we really care anymore? Better yet, is he worth us caring?

Woods has sort of meandered his way around the PGA Tour the last several years (when healthy), raising hope that he could return to form and resume his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships. But he has seriously faltered.

Along this path to nowhere Woods has maintained the largest Black fan base of any golfer in history, a collection of loyalists he hardly acknowledges.

Black fans show up at tournaments he plays, wearing his Nike-made golf shirts and hats, proud that he represents them, begging for an acknowledgment from him, a simple nod of the head that Blacks share in spaces where they are outnumbered, a quick smile or just eye contact. In response, they get…nothing.

No doubt, Woods has this laser-like focus inside the ropes, a concentration that was an important element in his 14 major championship wins and overall dominance that places him among the top, if not at the top, of golf’s greats.

But he’s disconnected from his late father’s side of his heritage and only acknowledges his Blackness when it is convenient for him, as in when historical context is involved. Otherwise, forget it.

Some would argue (weakly) that Woods does not have to acknowledge his race. In America, he can live his life as he pleases. And of course that’s true. But his relevance to Black people who want to see him do well solely because he is Black does not have to continue.

Throughout history, African-Americans have been a most forgiving people. Their loyalty to their kind can be exhausting, even if the love offered is not returned. This is one of those cases.

Woods has done very little to earn the support from the community he shuns. His “I’m just a golfer” disposition rings hollow. When Venus and Serena Williams, for example, threatened to shun playing in South Carolina until it removed the confederate flag—a symbol of the ugly remnants of slavery and the Jim Crow South—Woods said he did not have a position on the matter. When he was asked about his Blackness, he called himself a “Cablinasian.”

But when he’s called the first Black golfer to win the Masters, there is no resistance to the platitude.

And yet, if/when he wins again, even those who are dismayed at his disconnection will bask in his success.

There is no certainty he will have any more success on the PGA Tour, which is quite a statement, considering there was a time when him not winning a tournament was significant news. Hardly anyone expected him to rebound quickly after his rampant philandering became public knowledge five years ago on Thanksgiving.

He went through the typical protocol for busted celebrities, including going to rehab for sex addiction (wink, wink). The wife left him, his health deteriorated and he eventually wormed his way back on tour and into society.

Since then, he has won tournaments, but no majors. He has not been able to hit his driver straight in the biggest events or make par-saving putts that were the key elements to his previous extraordinary success.

His father, Earl Woods, had said something considered preposterous before his son even won on the PGA Tour—that Tiger Woods would change the world.

Woods has not been that important—only Muhammad Al as an athlete has made that kind of an impact, and maybe the late tennis great Arthur Ashe. But Earl Woods was half-right: His son changed the golf world.

He dominated it to the point where pundits wondered in their publications if it was good for the sport that he won at such a high rate. That concern was born of a discomfort with a Black man crushing a traditionally white sport, pure and simple.

Anyway, Woods changed golf in this way: He was among the few players who trained for the sport, who kept his body in shape for longevity purposes. Now, almost all golfers have personal workout gurus to strengthen their bodies.

Also, African-Americans—men and women—watch golf now, when he’s playing at least. Or they at least care about golf as it relates to him. Golf courses around the country see Blacks playing recreationally in more numbers than ever, many inspired by Woods’ long-time success.

He has inspired an entire generation of young, new golfers without even trying, by just being a Black man who excelled at the perceived exclusionary sport.

He’s also, in a very real way, let down those Blacks who have supported him by not returning the affection. So his first appearance of the year on tour Thursday does not move the needle as it has in the past. Sure, there is curiosity to see the reported weight loss, his professed straightening up of his driver and how good a job the dentist did on his front teeth that were damaged by a camera man last week at a meet of his girlfriend, skier Lindsey Vonn.

But he hasn’t earned much more than our curiosity. He’s lost his wow factor as a golfer and respect as a man the African-American community once proudly held up as one of their own. Now, he’s just another guy on the PGA Tour trying to win.

What people are saying

31 thoughts on “After Shunning His Black Fan Base For Years, It’s About Time For Tiger Woods To Lose His Black Support

  1. Kent Walker says:

    Fuck Tiger Woods. He is a tom ass black man. I stopped supporting the moment he said he wasn't black.

  2. Kent Walker says:

    The minute he said he was not black they took his black ass down with that sex scandal. I f he didn't figure it out then that he was a black man then. He truly is delusional.That blond pussy does that to some brothers.Makes the loose there minds.

  3. I respected Tiger for stating early on that he wasn't all black, that he is in fact Asian, black and also had other roots in his origin…..He gave equal weight to his Mom and Dad's different racial origins. So, he chose not to portray himself as the BLACK GOLF SUPERSTAR…..I think that his personal decision to tell the truth about himself and not to focus on his black-side roots was great. He tried to keep race out of the discussion of golf. It's time for the nation to get past racial identity politics. In any given grade school play yard, kids play sports without regard for race, they just want to have fun. It's the adults who get wrapped around the EXCUSE MACHINES, and need to make a point about how much blackness is included in any aspect of life…..Ridiculous. Tiger got it right from the get-go…If blacks are fans or non-fans because he doesn't single them out as his favorite fans, well those folks just need to get over it….Unfortunately Obama chose to go with his black fans, and white fans and call himself black….BUT he is neither fish nor fowl, not fully black nor white, he's baby shit brown and should be advancing the mocca colored population of Americans….If Obama is not even honest about his own racial identity, what credibility does he really have, and why are his fans dishonest as well…… Tiger got it right….

  4. Brotha Rahim says:

    My experience was different when I took my son to see Tiger Woods playing at Sherwood Country Club in 2011. Our experience was wonderful as almost every time Tiger looked in our direction he acknowledged us, head nod and all (Brother Love). After the 16th hole he saw us standing against the ropes on the walk to 17 and said "hey, here you go man" and threw us his ball!! We got interviewed and the story ran in the daily news!! Thank You Tiger Woods

  5. Victor Eaves says:

    I never cared for Tiger Woods because of just this reason. I'm sort of half way with MJ and his investment with private prisons. Excellent article. People got to understand that life is short. Every thing that you earn now will be irrelevant once you're dead. What will matter is how people will remember you. Were you someone who lifted your fellow man in ways you believe are moral and correct or did you just ease by, safely, only to die with billions of dollars in your bank account and no one who loves you to share it with.

  6. Kent Walker says:

    We will get past as soon as you people Admitt the damage you have done to the black community and repay us in the form of cold hard cash. Excuse machines! we did not create the system of racial classification know as white supremacy this is what I mean you turn it around and blame blacks for being behind when the society you designed to keep us in our place is the real reason we are in the position were in.

  7. It is obvious he lacks consciousness and true self love.

  8. Hank Wilson says:

    Let him lose all his money and get hurt bringing his golf days to an end. Then you will see how fast asians and whites throw his negro butt under the bus. He be black then.

  9. What difference does it make what his skin color is?He is a talented golfer. We are all put on this earth to fill our God given purpose to complete the puzzle that only our individual piece can fill. He does not owe me anything, yet I am still proud of him as a talented man. I wish him much success.

  10. Tiger embraces his entire heritage! We see and want him to SAY he's black for what reason? So we as blacks can claim him as ours to throw in other races faces that a BLACK MAN is dominating their sport!!!?? Why can't he just be an athlete that has done well?
    Tiger doesn't owe blacks anything nor does any dominant black athlete! If they choose to take a stand on something then that's their choice!
    Mr. Bunn as an award winning journalist, do you acknowledge every black person you see?
    Whether your a white or black top athlete, fans feel your their property and they made you, when that is so far from the truth!!! Look at how the fans reacted when LeBron left Cleveland! Although it was his choice, the felt he owed them something! !!
    Stop hanging your hopes on other people to stand for what you want!!!

  11. Ogba Ikanga says:

    Black people (Africans) did not create the division that exists in the world today. White people did. I find it strange that Whites always seem to bothered when Africans try to identify with other Africans that are doing well. You attack the Black race when a few Africans behave badly. But you're quick to acknowledge people like Woods and Barkley when they criticize other blacks. White people are hypocrites and dangerous to the existence of Africans. The reason want to claim our own is because you make life really hard for us. So when one of us makes it to the top the rest of the race is happy to celebrate. The rest of the Black is proud. Do you understand this white race?


  13. I like many of your articles because they make sense but this one you just missing a crucial point on ethnicity and responsibility.

  14. Hank Wilson says:

    We black folks don't care what that negro calls himself…cause we know better. He's looking in the mirror and can't belive his lying eyes…LMAO. He should ask Obama about that. He wrote about the same problem that he had earlier in his life, as who he was-black or white-in his book. He came to an easy solution as he wrote in his book. No matter how he wanted other ethnicities to see him they still saw him as part of the African black ethnicity. So, therefore he stopped trying to change the world and accepted himself.

  15. A Black Tiger is a Puma or a Panther…Tiger Woods is more like a Bob Cat…bobbing and weaving all questions regarding his obvious racial representation. He will not have a mulligan on being Black. Those that have tried to pass and fail, well they were less then the lowest of all humanity.

  16. Tommy Allen says:

    Why is it any of our business what he consider his self? It's his life.

  17. Go have a seat. Why do you think we have all these racial problems. The white man that's why. When did whites start accepting bi-racial anything. The rule has always been one drop of black blood you are black period. Now that whites are becoming the minority now they want to change shit up. For centuries bi-racial kids could never claim no other race but black. Whites would never accept them. Black people were the ones who embraced bi-racial children taught them the only way they could mentally be ok if they embraced their blackness fully. Bi-racial children who grow up thinking they are not black have freaking problems.

  18. Lola Short says:

    I don't need TW to say he's black. His bum and lips say so all day 😀

  19. White people put the world in two classes white and non-white. As Black people we are in a fight for existence. So if you are Black you must do for the community and part of that is claiming your Blackness.

    We are the only non-white group that wants to claim, like, embrace and love everyone else even our enemy's, but don't want to give a damn about each other.

    We're so fucked up we think we're doing good when master lets us sleep with his dogs.

    If you don't know what racism is, or how it works in your everyday life. Everything you thought you knew will only confuse you. -Neely Fuller Jr

  20. He is a symbol for melanated people nothing more and nothing less. If he feels it necessary to distance himself is his prerogative. We as back people should not exhaust ourselves with such trivial pursuits. We should celebrate his blackness even he doesn't. Raise your vibrations!

  21. Hank Wilson says:

    Oh, no wonder you have a lying eyes problem…you're a shame of the skin that Almighty God gave you and you're also "a disgrace to the skin that you wear!" It's called "black menticide." Also will you make up your Damn Mind? I mean like damn are we suppose to celebrate his blackness, but not creticize his Negritudism. Hey, we know that the boy is an uppity African-American/Asian/White/Indian and [Negro]…LMAO, you know what I mean.

  22. Craig Carter says:

    What a disgusting and racist article, boo hoo tiger didn't nod at me!

  23. Lol really? My friend you are your fathers child. If you gave Tiger a DNA test the gene pool would be 100 BLACK men not Asian white Indian etc. Obama is the same as are all other 'biracial' people you are what your father is…

  24. Ade Daini says:

    Get past the racial question when it's White-Americans who're the angriest and the keenest of all your races in America to pop up the race question and make the loudest statements about how they don't want to live next to any other race except their own types although they came from Europe themselves. What double-standard is that, when it's you people who'd always say that any person that has one drop of another race's blood in them can never claim be white and that's why people who have black genes in them claim to be black before white people start telling them where they belong, that's also why blacks expected Tiger to claim his "Blackness", the Jews of all ramifications and races came together to be stronger after all of the persecutions they suffered in the hands of Caucasians to prevent re-occurrences, why can't the people of African decent not take the same stand if they're still hated up till today by the Caucasians after all of those horrendous perpetration they too have had to endure from these same Caucasian people then?

  25. Hank Wilson says:

    Sport News saying Tiger's golf days are over because of his injuries…Nah, that's not correct. That Negro golfer was a protected Negro specie for over 2 decades, and most white folks didn't see him as being a hood-brother. Even Tiger saw himself as being of non-African ethnicity. But, Tiger's golf problems are not due to his injuries. However, it's his rude awaking that he's now seen as an ethnic African man. And, he no longer has a color blind status world-wide anymore.

    Tiger needs go and find himself among people who looks like him. Go to a community or a country where he walks for ten-blocks and will only see people who looks like him. No thyself Tiger…

  26. Good for you and your son. I think Curtis' story is way off the mark!

  27. Good for you and your son. I think Curtis' story is way off the mark!

  28. Hank Wilson says:

    When the world sees your Negro butt as of African ethnicity…and you out there saying in the public…I ain't one of them! "Negro, why you left your mind in Africa"–Malcolm X.

  29. Hank Wilson says:

    Yeah, that be so right, we be color blind now and ain't we be all America to…lol!

  30. This article is juvenille and counter productive.

  31. I think you're deluding yourself .

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