04/07/10 — Stevens: Average fan not entitled to explanation from Woods

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Stevens: Average fan not entitled to explanation from Woods

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on April 7, 2010 1:47 PM

There's a disgusting sense of disease-like entitlement flowing through our nation that continues to infect generation after generation.

For way too long we as a nation have been mired in the belief that every public figure who falls from grace and has their misdeeds splattered across every news outlet somehow owes us something.

As the Masters gets underway on Thursday, golf's most recognizable figure -- Tiger Woods -- is faced not only with the task of capturing his fifth green jacket, but also of regaining his reputation.

Woods' well-documented extramarital affairs have left many Americans, sports fans or not, feeling betrayed by someone they deemed as a role model and somehow believing they're owed something by Woods.

Tiger has apologized to his wife and family, to the PGA, his sponsors, his fans and his fellow players on tour. He's chosen to keep many details private about affairs, rehab and the car accident outside his home in the early hours of Nov. 27, 2009.

Many Americans somehow feel as if they're owed the details of Woods' private life. Just because Woods or any other celebrity chooses to become a public figure doesn't mean they wave their right to a certain sense of privacy.

In no way do I condone Woods' decision to cheat on his wife or to be untruthful for so long about his actions. I've seen the marriage of an extended family member nearly torn apart by the long lasting affects of infidelity and broken trust.

I also know while casting judgment on someone else's mistakes, we rarely stop to consider what we would do if placed in those same tempting situations.

Woods hasn't let anyone other than his children down as a role model. Role models are people we can relate with, have things in common with and people who feel like one of us.

Tiger Woods never has been, he isn't currently nor will he ever be one of us. Woods has endorsed TAG Heuer watches, he's worth almost a billion dollars, he owns multiple homes in the United States, a home in Sweden and a $10 million yacht.

From almost the day he debuted on the PGA Tour in 1996, Woods' profanity-laced tantrums on the golf course have become legendary. He's far from being a role model.

Woods isn't Brett Favre, a southerner from Mississippi who does commercials for Wrangler jeans, who certainly feels like one of us. This isn't Kurt Warner or Tim Tebow, men of outspoken faith, suddenly having multiple affairs being made public knowledge.

If you feel as if Tiger Woods somehow betrayed his responsibilities to you or your children as a role model, I would question your ability to discern between a role model and someone who's never attempted to be one.

It takes a lot more than a golf swing, a yacht and a super model wife to be a role model.

America will be a much better place when we finally realize that character and integrity are found much higher up on the list of criteria it takes to be a role model than success ever will be.