What if Tiger Woods staged some form protest at a PGA event? By: Chris McKee
For better or for worse, after decades of keeping politics and sports separate the two have blended back into one (for the time being).
NFL players have been taking a knee to protest the racial inequality and police brutality in the United States while the biggest names in the NBA have been openly criticizing President Donald Trump while the President has been firing back in response calling for the players to be fired.
Politics and sports each exercise their power to influence the masses.
The more powerful the individual is in both politics and sports the further the reach of their message can be heard.
This whole reintroduction of politics into sport came at the hands of Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick was at one point an NFL starting quarterback and known to fans within the football world. However, he was no Tom Brady or Peyton Manning as far as popularity and stature within football so his message was heard but hadn’t really echoed off the walls of those could truly influence change.
The more recognizable the athletes are the louder their political message will be heard.
Now that the likes of LeBron James and Stephen Curry are stepping in to voice their opinions the message is becoming louder and the media and the masses want to be heard as well.
There are few people with a broader reach than Michael Jordan within the sporting world and he released a statement earlier this week giving his thoughts on the blending of politics and sports in America.
At a time of increasing divisiveness and hate in this country, we should be looking for ways to work together and support each other and not create more division. I support Commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA, its players and all those who wish to exercise their right to free speech.
One of the fundamental rights this country is founded on was freedom of speech, and we have a long tradition of nonviolent, peaceful protest. Those who exercise the right to peacefully express themselves should not be demonized or ostracized.
Jordan making a statement of these sorts is out of character for his Airness who has avoided making any sort of political statement for decades and never allowing his personal beliefs to interfere with the sales of his sneakers and clothing apparel or his relationship with Nike.
Jordan didn’t exactly rattle any cages with his statements but it was still surprising to see regardless.
The one athlete whose actions could speak the loudest is Tiger Woods.
However, he has remained fairly silent in regard to any sort of opportunity to sway public opinion in either direction.
He did make a statement this week in advance of the Presidents Cup.
That’s something that obviously has happened before in the past, and it’s happening right now in America. So hopefully things can be healed. We can progress as a nation and come together, not just only the near future, but for perpetuity.
Regardless of his recent personal missteps, Woods is that one athlete who could tip the scales of the argument on whether there is a place in sports to exercise your political opinion or if the separation between church and state should’ve stayed where it was since the 1970’s.
What if Tiger Woods staged some form of protest at a PGA Tour event?
Can you image the impact of Wood’s coming out onto the first tee of The Masters and staging some sort of protest against racial inequality?
Assuming that at some point he is able to get himself both physically and mentally ready to compete again in professional golf.
The significance of Wood’s actions at Augusta National would end up being one of the most powerful moments in sporting history and could end up having more of an impact on sports and the game of golf than his chip in on the 16th hole at The Masters in 2005.
Wood’s days of making a cultural impact as a player are long past him and the likelihood of him exercising his right to protest at a PGA event are slim and none.
People wonder what if about their favourite team signing certain players all the time as well as imagining late game scenarios when their team is down by 25 points. They always think what if?
Those scenarios almost never come to fruition but that is one of the beautiful nuances of being a sports fan is that we are allowed to wonder; what if?