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Daily Rant: Double Standards in Sports

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When Tiger Woods has countless extramarital affairs he is slammed as a poor role model and a disgrace to his fans and his sport. When it comes to other sports, however, athletes don’t seem to be held to the same standards. Given golf is known to be a “gentleman’s game” and Tiger carefully crafted his perfect family man image, but his fault is nowhere near as bad as others that we have seen as of late.

I am in no way defending Tiger’s actions, but hearing him get slammed week after week for having extramarital affairs and not hearing any commentary at all when Gilbert Arenas allegedly pulled a gun on his teammate Javaris Crittenton is simply blasphemous. If this was the case, Arenas could have severely injured if not killed his own teammate, and yet people are still talking about Tiger and what a horrible man and role model he is. Arenas is one of the biggest stars in the NBA, but because basketball is filled with bad boys, he isn’t forced to undergo the same treatment as Tiger. Arenas isn’t a lone wolf either, take a look at the members of the Minnesota Vikings that were involved in the infamous “Love Boat” scandal, in which two boats were rented and several of the players involved performed sexual acts on  women in front of crew members. If that wasn’t bad enough, according to an unnamed source, it wasn’t the first time that such an incident had occurred. To make things worse, when the cleaning crew arrived, they found “used condoms, K-Y jelly, Handi Wipes, and wrappers for sex toys,” among other things. There were criminal charges made in this case and although it received a good amount of media coverage, the players involved did not nearly receive the amounts of negative attention that Tiger has undergone. Even Ron Artest and his brawl in the stands couldn’t top Tiger.

Again, I don’t condone Tiger’s actions, but if you’re going to let such guys as Artest, Arenas, and several members of the 2005 Minnesota Vikings off of the hook, you have to do the same with Tiger. He didn’t break a law for having and affair and he wasn’t in danger of causing physical harm to anyone while he was canoodling with other women. He definitely has familial issues that need to be resolved, but I bet there are a slew of other athletes that are in the same boat.

At the end of the day, I hate what this controversy does for the sport of golf. Surely, their ratings will take a massive hit while Tiger is gone and I can only hope that people will watch after he returns. None of the players on the PGA Tour asked for this and if their ratings take the hits that are expected, the Tour’s necessary sponsorship dollars and television coverage will certainly dwindle. So even if you can’t stand Tiger and never want him to win another tournament again, don’t let it stop you from watching what is the wonderful sport of golf. The other day, I saw a commercial that hyped the other players on the PGA Tour, specifically Phil Mickelson, Y.E. Yang, Sergio Garcia, and Stewart Cink. Though I chuckled a bit while watching a Tiger-less golf commercial, I was glad to see the other guys getting some hype. I have always loved that golf is such an international sport and that it has tons of characters that you don’t tend to see in other sports, where the guys seem to be getting more and more robotic everyday. After the positive news that came from golf becoming an Olympic sport, the loss of Tiger for a significant period of time was a massive hit. It was a hit that nobody anticipated and nobody could have stopped, and yet all of the players on tour will suffer as a result. Nevertheless, I will be watching while Tiger is gone and for the sake of the PGA Tour, I hope that others will too.

  1. January 2, 2010 at 9:56 am

    You had me until you said this: “Even Ron Artest and his brawl in the stands couldn’t top Tiger.”

    Absolutely untrue. I agree that Tiger has been ostracized for something far too common, but the reasons to me are two-fold: a) he’s a bigger star both for his sport and for SPORTS than any of the people you compared him to, and b) his image was always squeaky clean, so something like this tarnishes one of the few good athletes we have.

    Thanks for the comment and read, assuming you read my NFL Preview.

    • sportsaholic89
      January 2, 2010 at 10:04 am

      I understand that he is a much bigger star than anyone that I mentioned and he definitely had a squeaky clean image. I’m just irritated that he’s being condemned to such an extreme that you would think he physically harmed someone. It’s a little extreme. I don’t know how many people we can really see as “good athletes” nowadays. It seems like any “good athlete” ends up having a personal scandal or steroid scandal eventually. We definitely need more “good athletes” in all sports.

      I did. I tended to agree with Sina Iranikhah on your post, in that I think that the Eagles and the Chargers are playing extremely well right now and will be tough to beat.

  2. January 2, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Good athletes is a term I use loosely, given the standards we’re forced to accept as fans.

    And you’ll be glad to know that Sina is the youngest of the four who participated in the roundtable 😀

    Go Cowboys!

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