NFL legend and social activist Jim Brown took a hard swipe at Tiger Woods in the recent “Real Sports” on HBO. Mr. Brown said Tiger Woods is a “monster competitor” on the course, but has been “terrible” as a social contributor off of it.
Well although some may be afraid to address this in terms of race, it has an element of race in it. So as a Black man who is only a few years older than Tiger and was made more aware of golf by the contributions of Tiger Woods I submit my opinion to Mr. Jim Brown with sincere respect. I believe this is more of a generational lapse of opinion in social contribution. Just because Tiger does not contribute socially in the way one may prefer it doesn’t mean he hasn’t made great contributions to youth in addition to his own ethnic heritage, Black and Asian.
The game of golf has not always been welcoming to someone like Tiger or even myself if it wasn’t for the contributions of other Black Golfers such as Ann Gregory, Joseph Bartholomew, Charlie Sifford or Ted Rhodes who paved the way for a Tiger Woods or even an Anthony Kim or a Michelle Wie.
Mr. Brown I will be the first to say I greatly appreciate and respect all that you’ve contributed to youths of all races over the years. I’m sure there is someone who can make the same criticism of you, but they choose not to do so because we all can contribute socially. We all can not and would not make the great sacrifices that Martin, Medgar or even Malcolm made, but it is because of those sacrifices that we don’t have to make them today. But we can make our own contributions in our own way. To harp back on my eternal theme, we have to always remember to consider others in all we do that includes our criticism of them.
The Tiger Woods Foundation is not some run-of-the-mill foundation. In addition to teaching kids about the game of golf the foundation also provides a FREE program for young people to help realize their dreams. What about the grants and scholarships, I would like to have one of those. Mr. Brown, Mr. Woods is doing great things not only on the golf course, but off it to. I respectfully invite you to just give the man a chance instead of joining in with words that hold the resemblance to what you fought against for so long.
Although some will read your comments and instantly criticize you and naively compare you to Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton as if that’s an insult; I choose not to go that route. I have too much respect for you and for all of the work you have done to criticize your criticism. This is why I respectfully disagree with your critical assessment of Tiger Woods. There’s many others who would rightfully deserve your criticism of their social contributions to all of our youths.
Tiger Woods is a good guy and have not publicly provided any valid arguments to contradict this opinion. Give the guy a break and reconsider your criticism of him from his perspective.References & Inspirations The Golf Channel – 07/06/09 “Black and White – and Brown” The Tiger Woods Foundation – http://www.tigerwoodsfoundation.org/