Since he's come out and admitted his "transgressions," and there are a ton of facts behind the initial accusations, I feel there are one or two (or 20) lessons to be learned here. Which lesson is most important to write about?
1) The simple topic of his cheating, and all the associated affects.
2) His not "owning up" to anything. Admitting his transgressions is fine, but does he have an obligation to publicly speak to his sponsors, fans, and friends? Is it o.k. to hide in his house and wait for things to blow over?
3) At least three major sponsorships that have let him go, resulting in millions and millions of dollars lost this week alone.
4) His "indefinite break" from professional golf, and what that means to t.v. ratings, money, and his fans.
5) The link he has to a Canadian Dr. who is under investigation for giving Human Growth Hormones to other athletes, as well as using them himself... allegedly.
These are all valid topics, but I choose to talk about...
6) Us, as a society, putting these athletes on pedestals, thinking they're God-like, incapable of making mistakes. Sure, everything that Tigger has done is immoral, arrogant, etc., but he IS human... an unhappy human! Trust me when I say that I've been the biggest Tigger-basher imaginable, but have realized it's because I thought of him as more than human. I bought into his image as the "perfect specimen," both on and off the golf course. I felt deceived, as if he lied to my face. He never said he was perfect ~ I was the one who jumped to that impossible conclusion.
Maybe I felt as if he let me down, personally, because I used him as an example for my students more times than I can count. "Look how Tigger does it. You want to be like him." I still stand by those words... but only ON THE COURSE! I allowed his brilliance to bleed into my personal beliefs of the man, which influenced my teaching and students' potential view of all things related to him. This isn't Tigger's fault. I'm the only one to blame. I allowed him to climb the ladder of societal perfection, and worse... taught about it.
As former NBA great, Charles Barkley said: "I'm not a role model, and don't want to be. The parents are our children's only role models."
I used to think Barkley was crazy for saying this, but now completely agree with him. I think Tigger can be a golf model, but never a role model. Admire his amazing skill in between the ropes, but stop right there. Let's not make him more than he is... human, who happened to make some horrendous mistakes, and who'll be paying (literally and figuratively) for a very long time.
Feel sorry for him ~ not for his recent actions, but because he's an incredibly unhappy man, searching for peace in all the wrong places. I don't apologize for him, and never will, but...
Without compassion, what do we have?