After over a decade, he roared back in the loudest decibel possible. Tiger Woods reminded us again why his name fits aptly. Finally clawing his way back from the doldrums of despair that became synonymous with his personality for such a long time; it was a remarkable feat that has had many people applauding and a few unimpressed. Those on the other side of the divide remind us of the ignominious way he fell from the heights of adoration to the depths of contempt. He wasn’t supposed to come back from the scandal and series of setbacks that have marred his career and personal life. The bookmakers were wrong. Critics are gobsmacked. This is one man who has refused to stay down and some people can’t seem to wrap their minds around it.
On the back of Woods’ famous first major win in 11 years, traducers have been quick to repoint the accusing fingers from many years ago. “This man cheated on his wife, why is everyone falling over themselves to celebrate his success?” They ask.
In a tweet, someone cited the jubilation that followed Tiger Woods’ comeback as a classic case of how men are easily forgiven for their wrongdoing while women are hounded to “death” if they as much as dared to err the same way. They echoed the thoughts of those who are convinced the golf legend is undeserving of the congratulatory messages and adulation that have trailed his resurgence to the summit of the golfing profession.
I know it’s hard to fathom how someone who was ranked outside of the first 1,000 golfers has managed to clinch a no.6 spot in early 2019, but the inimitable feat only goes to show what unrelenting hard work and unwavering self-belief can do in the life of a man. It’s also incredulous that some are of the opinion that the 43-year old has not done enough penance for his previous misadventures. The unceasing grouse that a section of the populace have against the star golfer and anyone who’s glad he’s found some light at the end of his travails is befuddling.
Tiger cheated on his wife and lost everything.
He was vilified. Lost endorsement deals, lots of money and the love of his significant other. The once admired champ became a pariah. And to make matters worse, his health deteriorated and he had to have surgery. The slight, the ostracization and financial losses where enough to break to even the strongest of men, but Woods trudged on like the “Tiger” he is. It is therefore not unsurprising that many would find his eventual triumph over adversity a symbol of strength and inspiration.
If this is difficult for any human who has blood flowing through their veins to process, then they must deal with their own demons and not try to make the rest of us out to be unthinking hero worshippers.
We know what Tiger Woods did 10 years ago, but we are also rational enough to accept that in the end, he sinned only against his partner; and that he has endured sufficient (perhaps even more than enough) punishment for what he did. Adultery isn’t tantamount to murder even though it can have devastating effects on stakeholders in a marriage. When we begin to grandstand and express righteous indignation at the indiscretions of others especially when these choices do not affect us in any way, then we must begin to look within and ask ourselves pertinent questions.
A sense of entitlement is why Woods’ critics would imagine he still has something to atone for—after series of apologies—after losing (almost) everything he worked to achieve. Because a person has erred, he must be crucified. This is their verdict. A verdict that would have been rib-cracking if it wasn’t so irksome. It is this sort of thinking that imbues wives with the impetus to kill their husbands because he strayed outside their marriage and vice-versa.
An irrational sense of entitlement is responsible for our conviction that a person has to suffer for the rest of their lives because they missed it at some point. It matters less that in our various closets, we have all done things we aren’t particularly proud of and the only reason we aren’t being subjected to the sort of treatment Tiger faced is that our secrets are still safe, and we are far less known than the golfer.
Stone-casters need to take a breather. A man cheated. It’s not the end of the world.