TIGER WOODS AND #METOO
By Andy Maciver, Director, Message Matters
Brexit is off the front pages. At least for a day, replaced by golfer Tiger Woods after what many in the game think is the most remarkable comeback in the sport’s history.
As a golfer, I’d agree. Woods was dominant for 11 years between 1997 and 2008, when he won 14 Major championships, the final one with a broken leg. But in the 11 years since, until Sunday, he had won none and, in truth, hadn’t come close.
As legendary as his comeback will become, was his downfall. His golf game, his body and his marriage were in pieces for the best part of a decade. On the course, he lost all of the aura which used to win him tournaments before he’d even hit a ball - his competitors were no longer afraid of him. The physical frailty from multiple back surgeries, which have fused his spine, was a metaphor for the way in which other golfers viewed his presence in a field of players.
The on-course comeback is an astonishing feat of hard work, determination and physical rebuilding. It will go down in the annals of sport as eclipsing Muhammad Ali beating George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle, or more recently Roger Federer going on a three-Grand Slam burst in his late 30s.
But let us put that to one side and look at his off-course comeback which, in my view, is actually more remarkable given the prominence of the #MeToo movement in recent years. In late 2009, in the middle of the night and after the first two days of what was to become a global media furore over a series of extra-marital relationships, Woods crashed his car into a fire hydrant outside his home. Over the next few weeks, reports of dozens of affairs would emerge and lead to him both divorcing and taking an indefinite absence from golf.
The image of the entitled, rich sports megastar who thought he could behave in any way he wished was laid out to the world. Gillette, Tag Heuer and AT&T, amongst many others, immediately cut their endorsement deals. This was #MeToo before there was #MeToo - corporates saying “we will not be associated with a person who treats women this way”.
The untold story of Tiger Woods, though, is the personal and emotional change he has since undergone. As his body was breaking down throughout most of this decade, by all accounts, he was building himself emotionally. Having been, by anyone’s standards, a poor husband, he was now learning to be a better person and learning to be a better father.
In the context of the era of #MeToo, it is both fascinating and heartening that people are, it seems, being given the time and the chance to change. Many of the heartfelt congratulations this week from the world of sport are from female athletes, themselves icons for girls and women, and for feminism.
The #MeToo movement has served an important purpose in ensuring that men think about their behaviour, and if necessary change and self-regulate it. But it is also important not to write men off. And the fact that Tiger Woods can receive opprobrium for his failures at the end of the last decade, and in equal measure plaudits for his success at the end of this one, is a good sign for our society.
By Andy Maciver, Director, Message Matters
TIGER WOODS, CALMAC'S CARBON CUTTING EFFORTS, ELECTRIC VEHICLE EXPANSION AND REVITALISING THE CLYDE AND GLASGOW CITY CENTRE
Glasgow city centre is vital to the economic, social, environmental, cultural and civic health of the city region, and Scotland. Revitalising the River Clyde and ensuring Glasgow city centre thrives are projects of national importance. Broomielaw’s renaissance should supercharge the city region’s inclusive economic growth creating jobs, cultural opportunities and city centre living for Glaswegians new and old.
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