A Tiger’s Tale: Par For The Course



By Harold Bell

December 8, 2009

When folks were trying to define Tiger Woods’ race during the early stages of his career, he denied that he was a black man and said he was Cabilnasian.

I completely understood his premise of not wanting to overlook his mother’s Asian heritage.  There were many in the black community who took his denial as a put down to black people.  There is nowhere in his new identity “Cablinasian” that identified him as being a black man.

We all understand that he had a black father and Asian mother.  It was not like Tiger had not known racism during his early years.  He clearly remembers the bigotry he and his father faced while trying to play on public golf courses around military installations they lived on.

They were not discriminating because he was “Cablinasian,” discrimination often surfaced because they were black men.

I knew he was headed for trouble when he first announced he was “Cablinasian.” He was denying he was black despite having a black father.  Tiger had forgotten the unwritten American rule that says, “One trickle of black blood makes a man or woman totally black.”

I could not find a definition of “Cablinasian” in Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary but there was a definition for Nigger.  The definition was, “a member of any dark-skinned race—usually, taken to be offensive.”

Could this be what Tiger was trying to run away from?  Trying to outrun racism in America is like trying to outrun the morning sun.

Tigers’ “transgressions” with what now looks like an army of cocktail and restaurant waitresses around the world could be the beginning of his end.

There will be no sponsors jumping ship immediately because Tiger is still their meal ticket.

Golf and chess each are mind games and the mental toll on Tiger maybe his undoing.

The legendary golfer Arnold Palmer offered Tiger some sound advice early in his career when he was just a struggling millionaire.  He confessed to Palmer “I am finding it difficult to deal with all this adulation, signing autographs, press conferences and members of the media.”

Arnold’s response was, “Tiger if you find all of this too difficult to deal with I suggest you give all the money back and become a weekend golfer with your friends.  No one will notice you then.”

Arnold Palmer was one of the most accessible legends of golf.  He would sign autographs for fans until the sun went down and never saw a press conference or reporter he did not like.  He and Muhammad Ali were two of a kind.

Tiger has let success handle him and he has not handled success.  He has a lot in common with today’s New Jack City pro athletes.  It has been all about “Me and me!”

Tiger’s “transgressions” have taken on a life of their very own.  He has become welcome comical relief for every late night comic including CBS host David Letterman. It was just several weeks ago that Letterman was walking around in Tiger’s shoes.

The tabloid newspapers and television entertainment shows (Access Hollywood, TMZ, Entertainment Tonight, etc.) are having a field day and can’t get enough.

When I said it maybe Tiger’s beginning of the end has nothing to do with his physical attributes while performing on the world’s pro golf courses.  The big test is how well his mental health holds up.

The bigots will be awaiting his every turn which should be nothing new to him.  He receives more death threats than any professional athlete.  The haters will be on the golf course testing him with all kinds of mean shouts and insults as it relates to his “transgressions.”

The haters will be hard for security to identify because they will be dressed as normal people without their hoods and robes.

The question will be, how much can Tiger’s wife and kids take, especially, the kids?

There are thousands of young people around the world that idolize Tiger.  What kind of message does his bad behavior send to them?  Kids forgive easily, but adults can be ruthless.

I remember when Sugar Ray Leonard thought he was coming home to a hero’s welcome after winning the Gold Medal at the Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada.  His then future wife Juanita was pregnant and carrying his baby.  The Washington media discovered his transgression and gave him a welcome home he would never forget.

You would have thought Ray had just been added to the FBI’s Most Wanted List.  The Washington media crucified him.

Sugar Ray Leonard refused to leave his house for days.   He had lost all of his self esteem.  His trainer, Janks Morton and my friend the late Melvin Jackson came to the Anacostia Tennis Courts in Southeast DC to ask me to try and talk some sense into him.  Ray and I had a unique relationship at that time and I successfully talked him out of the house.

I convinced him to go to several elementary schools with me in the DC metropolitan and talk to some kids about his Olympic boxing experiences (with his Gold Medal around his neck).  On Saturdays he would co-host Inside Sports, my radio talk show.

He slowly regained his self esteem and the rest is boxing history.  When it came to transgressions Sugar Ray could give Tiger a run for his money.

Washington Post columnist Michael Wilbon wrote a column last week titled “The Company Tiger Keeps.” I hope Michael was not trying to justify Tiger’s behavior because if he were he came up short.

In the column Wilbon pointed to other famous American athletes that had traveled the same path as Tiger, like Babe Ruth, Joe Louis, Joe DiMaggio, Muhammad Ali, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Tom Brady and Alex Rodriguez.

Wilbon wrote, “Whispers and innuendos followed Ruth and Louis.  TMZ and US Magazine stalked Tiger Woods.  So what?

The bottom-line is fans and today’s adults could care less.  TMZ and US Magazine care because the more sleaze, the more viewers and readers and sex is still the best seller in America.

The company Tiger kept was Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan.  It has been said “Birds of a feather flock together.”

The black caddy has become an endangered species on the pro tour since the players have to share a percentage of their winnings with their caddies.  The players now hire members of their family to carry their bags.  The caddy of color has slowly disappeared.

My high school teammate and college roommate Richard Hansberry once caddied on the tour and was the Vice-President of the Black Caddy’s Association.  He said Tiger would not even speak to the black caddies.

Tiger’s first caddy Fluff was white and when he fired him he never auditioned or sought a black caddy to replace him.  Did anyone notice that all of his female “transgressions” looked like his wife Elin?

Something is wrong with this picture!  It would make sense that if he was going to have an affair he would have found someone who had as much to lose as him.  Proving again, money does not make one smart.

Charles Barkley got it right and the monkey off of his back early, he told the world “I am not your child’s hero or role model, if I am something is wrong with you.”  Charles knew eventually his life style of women, booze and gambling, would knock on his door and it did.  NBA legend Michael Jordan was well known for his transgressions and they eventually cost him his marriage.

Patrick Ewing’s former wife Rita was heard on a news talk show saying the NBA promotes sexual misconduct.  She said, “I attended a seminar for players and their wives one year and the players were encouraged to use condoms when having sex!  Wives were not permitted to travel on the road and therefore made sex a Free Fall for the players.”

Rita told the interviewer, “No pun intended, but Tiger’s behavior is par for the course.”

If you don’t think Tiger’s behavior is par for the course you need to take look at this web page:  http://afieldnegro.com/photos.html.  I knew we had a problem but I didn’t think black men had just given up on black women.

If you think people really care about the sexual appetite of the rich and famous, let me prove my point that they don’t.

When DC Mayor for Life Marion Barry claimed “The Bitch Set Me Up.”  He was caught on camera trying to smoke cocaine through a pipe.  A little birdie warned him he was being set up but he didn’t listen.

Marion served jail time for his transgressions, and on his release he rode back into DC with a hero’s welcome.  He won another term as Mayor and is now a DC City Councilman with more added transgressions.

Let us take it up to another level with President William Jefferson Clinton.  When he was caught with his pants down in the White House Oval Office with a female aid under his desk giving him a massage, folks easily forgot.  The former President now travels the world charging and making millions of dollars for speaking engagements.

Tiger’s transgressions will not be that easily forgotten.  His road back to respectability will be difficult because so many of his colleagues have been waiting for his fall from grace.

His golfing friend who introduced him to his wife was heard to say “I wish I had never introduced them.  The next time she should use a driver on his head instead of an iron.”  I would love to be a birdie in a tree when these two meet at the next tournament.  This is one of Tiger’s tales that has no end in sight.

Footnote: Tiger’s mother-in-law who traveled from Sweden to comfort her daughter took ill after her arrival.  She was rushed to the hospital and was released after eleven hours.

Publisher’s Note:  The Urban Dictionary defines “Cablinasian” as follows: A term Tiger Woods himself made up honoring his mother as well as his father and all of his cultural heritage. Tiger is far ahead of his time in asserting that he does not need to deny any part of who he is or where he came from to satisfy others need for him to think and act a certain way just because of the color of his skin.

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5 Responses to “A Tiger’s Tale: Par For The Course”

  1. Well one reason Elin felt comfortable with busting Tiger upside his head is because you needn’t forget he isn’t a man of color or “black”, he is Cablinasian.

    If she was married to a real brother she would have had the fear of Blackian in her from the start. Sorry I created a word like Tiger, my bad.

    No really she is from Sweden and they are Vikings and if she comes from the lineage of Helgar the Horrible then fighting is in her genes.

    I don’t have any sympathy for him or her because this Viking is rich and without being charged for domestic violence. LMAO

    Just another Nigga getting his butt beat by a white person, business as usual.

  2. I do wish there were more people like you around on the interwebs. Not many people are careful with their words, including myself sometimes. I have written things I would love to take back, goo work, keep it up.

    • goldie1779 Says:

      Celestine check out my blog and you’ll see I do get in trouble with my words sometimes but what the hell it happens to the best of us. http:goldie1779.wordpress.com

  3. What is the value of a good name? Years ago when my grandmother was eulogized, the minister quoted her last words. In essence she said she could not leave her family much in the way of material things, but she was proud that she could at least leave them her “good name”. We seemed to have lost this old school sentiment. People and not just celebrities should remember that their actions don’t just impact their lives, it impacts the lives of their family, friends, coworkers. Tiger had people watching golf not just because he was a good golfer, but because they liked cheering for him as a person. So how ever many ethnicities Tiger claims, he has embarrassed them all!

  4. I gotta say, it’s kind of incredible how many men I know are in relationships with Asian girls. I’ll confess that I do find some Asian women to be very gorgeous, but what do you think the attraction is really about? Why do some white guys only date Asian girls…can someone explain to me why so many guys have this preference?

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