The Eye Of The Tiger (Fans)

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Tiger eye

Ah yes, another fallen icon.

What do Tiger fans see now? They see the truth. Or a somewhat muddled version of the truth.

Without going into detail, Tiger Woods has certainly confirmed what I have been saying about athletes as role models.

They’re not. Stop pretending that they are.

In one of my most popular posts of all time, gaining attention from local Los Angeles sports media, I make the claim that if you are a parents whose child reveres and looks to an athlete as a role model, you are not doing a good job as a parent.

Thank you Tiger, for proving my point, again.

Read it here.

  • On the Michael Kay radio show today Don LeGreca was talking about the fact that he was a Giants fan in the LT days and that he (LeGreca) admired his athletic abilities of LT but not the off the field stuff.

    Another thing that should be mentioned is that there are many athletes who do good things and are actually role models off the field. Warrick Dunn for instance helps build houses for home-less people. Part of the problem is that the media doesn’t recognize the “good” guys when they do good things. I’m not saying we shouldn’t talk about the Tiger Woods story or the steroid issues or betting refs, because they are news stories but the stories of the good guys can’t be forgotten.

    • Great comments.

      (I think it’s Dom, not Don)

      and you are right, it should be news when these guys do the right thing. Email me a few good stories with sources and I will do a post on it giving you full credit!


    this is the link to the warrick dunn foundation. their mission statement is “Dedicated to providing opportunities for economically-disadvantaged single parents and children who have demonstrated a commitment to achieve financial independence and stability.”

  • Offwinger

    I agree with you on parents and role models, both here and in your prior post. Just wanted to add one thought:

    What has *always* frustrated me about Tiger Woods, though, is that he has specifically chosen to craft a corporate image that would allow him to profit off of various consumer markets. I had the same view of Michael Jordan. He was about protecting Michael Jordan, the image, not voicing any concern about the world at large, including – but not limited to – the way Nike was treating its (child) laborers at the time that he was most profiting from that company.

    If you are blessed with the ability and talent to garner widespread attention as an athlete, to me, it is squandering that opportunity to actually do some good with your celebrity. And I think that extends beyond donating money to worthwhile charities, though I applaud that behavior and do enjoy reading stories about the “good” athletes in terms of giving back. It’s about being granted power to make a difference and choosing not to.

    Now, you and I probably agree, Rabbi Fink, that athletes should not have that power at all. Why *should* they have a microphone and a platform on account of their athletic ability? That said, we live in a world where people do care about sports, and it *does* provide this power. And rather than complain about it, I welcome the fact that there have been athletes who have used their status to speak out, to try to make a difference. It’s not that I want an athlete to embrace controversial causes for the sake of it (as Muhammed Ali did many years ago). It’s that they have the opportunity to make a difference, not because they are better people or deserving as role models, but because they have a platform in which people are paying attention to what they do and what they say. We can encourage people not to pay attention. However, I think a more realistic approach is to combine educating your children about how athletes can or can not be role models along with an expectation that athletes who *are* given this opportunity to be heard use it responsibly and for positive change in the world.

    In general, I have little respect for an athlete like Tiger. who deliberately chooses NOT to take a stand, simply because it means he might not be able to sell as many products as possible. Now, though, I suppose there are people who would look at this recent scandal and say, “Well, I’m glad he didn’t align himself with MY cause.”

    • Offwinger

      Edited – on further review, my parenthetical implies that Muhammed Ali chose a cause simply for the sake of controversy. This is NOT what I meant or believe. I highly respect Ali for being willing to take a visible stand and suffer the consequence for what he believed in! I do not believe and did not mean to imply that he was trying to be controversial for controversies sake. Thank you.

      • Offwinger:

        Excellent comments as always.

        I agree almost 100% with every you wrote. I said in previous posts that I can be abhorred by athletes behavior, but definitely nit surprised . And of course, if they would be more responsible I would more pleased but they STILL would not be role models.

        The only reason they have a platform is because there is a void. Fill that void with real role models and their platform starts to become shaky.

      • and I would think they could be sensitive to their unique position and actually take advantage of their power…

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