I certainly am. I watched some of Sunday’s Masters coverage, and I was disgusted by Woods’s numerous childish outbursts when his shots didn’t go as he wished. His complaint of “Tiger Woods, you suck!” was a sentiment I could agree with, but I found his shout of “Jesus!” offensive, as I’m sure many others did. If he’s such a Buddhist nowadays, as he claims to be, he should be angry at his own god, not mine.
I understand that much is at stake during these tournaments and that none of us is perfect in language usage or anything else, but when you know that you’re going to be heard by millions of people, it’s your responsibility to keep a lid on it. Plus, do you really want to look like a jerk? Other golfers restrained themselves, and Woods should be expected to do so as well.
Especially given that he promised to do so. That so annoyed CBS golf announcer Jim Nantz that he criticized Woods on WFAN radio yesterday:
If I said what he said on the air, I would be fired. I read in the USA Today and it was called “mild language.” Someone on my broadcast dismissed it as him having a camera in his face. Well, guess what? Phil Mickelson had a camera in his face all week and did you even hear him come close to approaching that? He didn’t hit every shot the way he wanted. Have you ever heard Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus use that kind of language? What are the parameters between what’s right or wrong?
Nantz made the important—but commonly ignored—point that we should all aspire to an even higher standard of conduct in our public than in private, for our private actions hurt only a few, whereas public behavior can affect hundreds, thousands, or millions, for good or ill:
How about the father and son who are standing right there by the tee? How about the hundreds of people who are around that tee who hear that? How about the hundreds of letters I’ve gotten through the years from people who have been outraged at the language they’ve heard there and have written me and said, ‘Why don’t you guys ever say something about that?
Woods acts in this infantile manner in the public arena because he has always gotten away with it. It’s time he was treated like everyone else—and Nantz is to be commended for calling him to account.