A year ago, I sat in a friend’s attic, watching Sportscenter as Kenny Mayne or Stuart Scott told the world about Tiger Woods’ car accident at 2:30 AM the day after Thanksgiving. Immediately there was was confusion. What was he doing leaving at 2:30 AM? How could he be snoring on the street despite just being in a car accident? Why did Elin think the best way to get him out of the car was with a 9-iron? After his admission to infidelity, more questions arose. How many women? For how long?
All we got in return for all of our questions was a few short statements revealing nothing that the tabloids weren’t already telling us. This raised more questions–but of a different sort. To what extent should the public and media be given information when a public figure falls? Tiger’s assertion was that this was a private matter. Most people accepted that.
I’m not sure that I do. I understand that Tiger himself has no obligation to divulge the details of his (s)e(x)scapades, but the public deserves answers. Nobody has any trouble smearing athletic accolades or, more importantly, the successes of private life into the public’s face. We deify athletes every day, whether they have stayed clean or reformed (Josh Hamilton). Why shouldn’t we be able to make the same type of judgments about athletes that have fallen from grace?
I’m not saying I want to hear every gruesome detail (the text messages were good enough, thanks). But the people deserve to hear, at least, the cursory details (how many women? for how long? what happened that night?) so that they can form their own opinions on Tiger.