Volume 47, Number 10 - January 19, 2010

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Keyace Sims
Keyace Sims

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Opinion Opinion

On Tiger Woods named Athlete of the Decade: Yay

By Keyace Sims

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Woods was named athlete of the decade by the Associated Press in December.

The news of Tiger Woods and his affairs surfaced around the same time the Associated Press named him Athlete of the Decade; the affairs began to rise in November and the award in December.

I witnessed infuriated discussions among my peers. Funny enough, these same peers were defending him a couple weeks prior when the scandal first appeared; back then they said people should just worry about what he does on the golf course. Now they say he shouldn’t have won it because of what he did outside it.

I say: stop tumbling to the side the wind blows.

Yeah, women from all over began to speak up about their relationship with the successful golfer. Who cares?

Woods won more than one-third of all the tournaments he played this decade; this happens rarely. So do the accusations and rumors mean he should not have received the Athlete of the Decade award?

Obviously, he won’t be receiving the ‘Most Faithful Husband’ award, but then again, he wasn’t going for that one, was he?

Woods performance as a husband has nothing to do with his performance as an athlete, and to allow insignificant scandals to ruin a decade of excellence would be irresponsible.

During 10 unrivaled years Woods changed the face of golf. He won 64 tournaments, including 12 major championships and six other majors where he placed as a runner-up.

What about those 56 titles in one decade on the PGA Tour? If you aren’t aware, only four of golf’s greatest players won more in their entire career.

Those wins are what they pay him for and what we, fans, haters and all, pay to watch.

Speaking of being paid, Woods not only makes money for himself but for any location he attends.

According to the Associate Press Woods received a $3 million appearance fee in Australia, and the government estimated a return of $20 million from the number of fans Woods attracted.

In case you haven’t grasped how much he changed the face of golf, here’s one more: Woods has 14 overall majors won, four short of the record held by Jack Nicklaus.

Morally, I do not agree with Woods decision to commit adultery. But I would not strip him of the title of Athlete of the Decade.

Dan Lebowitz, executive director at the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University, agrees.

“It seems like everybody has jumped on the ’slay Tiger’ bandwagon,” said Lebowitz in an interview with AP. “I understand the dynamics around that. But I’d also like people to recognize how great he operated under a microscope for a long period of time.”

I understand that certain situations can overshadow a persons many accomplishments and will end up having a negative effect on their future, but in all honesty, none of us are perfect and if the media were to shine the spotlight on some of our mistakes, I’m pretty sure most of us would be banned from America.

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