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This Is One Battle That Tiger Cant Win


So what social injustice is Tiger Woods accused of coddling today?
Lets see, the list is growing fairly long: he doesnt campaign enough for foreign workers who make his shirts for Nike; he didnt filibuster enough for Casey Martin and persons suffering a disability; he didnt try hard enough to elevate the position of blacks at country clubs; and now he hasnt taken up the cause of women in those same clubs ' enough.
Because Tiger doesnt attack the issues with the same zeal as the true zealots, some people assume he isnt interested. He cant just voice his displeasure with the system and get on with it. He should rail incessantly against this injustice, that shortcoming, until something changes. If he doesnt, tis a pity, isnt it? The young man must not care, some people believe.
I honestly dont know what goes on inside his mind. I dont know Woods, and the people who do know if he cares can be counted on ten fingers. He said he cares, and without information to the contrary, I believe him.

I thought he mentioned his objection pretty strongly when he was questioned about the womens issue at the British Open ' played at Muirfield, which doesnt allow women to join. It would be nice to see everyone have an equal chance to participate if they wanted to, he said, but there is nothing you can do about it.
Well, can you?
You can harp on it and harp on it, but last time I checked, this is a free country. Great Britain is the same. You are entitled to be as ignorant as you wish. You can be totally ignorant - denying a particular race membership in your little club. Or you can be partially ignorant ' about the womens issue.
Women can play on the courses at Augusta and at Muirfield, but so far none has membership. Outdated idea, probably, but its still alive in these circles. Both courses say there is no written prohibition against women members, but neither has come around to permitting a woman to belong. Both, however, permit women to play.
Some other places ' yes, right here in America ' dont even allow women to play. Those places are particularly ignorant. There are some clubs where women are not allowed to set foot on the premises. That, people, is just stupid.
There are parallels to the men-women thing. My housing development has a womens association. No men are allowed. I guess to be truly fair, I should raise some sort of a stink about it. But I personally dont care that the women have an exclusive club. The activities arent even remotely interesting to me, and I just never thought it was necessary to stand up and demand membership.
It is different when the club is built around a diversion that both sexes can enjoy ' golf, for example. I personally dont want to be a member where women arent welcomed as fellow members. But I realize that some men are different. Women are welcomed to play the course, but not to vote. If that offends you ' and it does me ' then go elsewhere.
Woods tried in plain kings English to explain himself. Of course, he was in a no-win situation. He would be vilified by some if he did, others if he didnt. And there are all kinds of no-win questions he will be asked to answer in the future, as long as he remains Tiger Woods. There will be no ducking them ' a noncommittal stance will be seen as capitulating to the status quo, just as an answer that isnt forceful enough is seen as agreeing that the status quo is OK.
That is the problem with Tiger being Tiger. He is expected to have diehard opinions about every issue, and if they arent diehard enough, there will be hell to pay. He said the actions were a disgrace. But he also said that being a disgrace isnt a crime. What more can he do, really?
Would it change things if Woods went on a campaign? If he did, Augusta would be more pro-male than ever. So would Muirfield. So what should he do to stop the sexism? Threaten to pull out of the event? Excuse me, but in the totally unlikely event that that would happen, it still would not hasten female membership. Both clubs would say, So long, and the championship would be played amongst the others who show up. A champion would be crowned, and it wouldnt be Tiger Woods. End of story.
No, Woods has chosen by far the most effective method of objecting. He stated his objections in a dignified yet quiet manner. That should have been sufficient to set the membership nodding, thinking there surely must be some merit to what he is saying. Augusta will have a woman member in the not-to-distant future, trust me. Muirfield may never have one, but what Tiger Woods thinks will be totally irrelevant.
He was asked a question, he responded, and now he is being trashed. What, pray tell, is the correct answer?

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