“I’m glad Tiger Woods won the Masters, I just wish he stood up for the black community,” reads the title of Etan Thomas’s April 22 op-ed in The Guardian. By that, he later reveals, he means that Tiger is a turncoat to his race and he wishes Tiger was a social justice warrior just like him.
Thomas was the number-one NBA draft pick in 2000 but had a pro basketball career that could be described as less than lackluster. So perhaps he’s carving out a niche pretending to try to identify other disappointments in the sports world. If so, he’s not showing a lot of promise.
Tiger Woods’ 2019 Masters victory was called “the greatest comeback he has ever seen” by Michael Jordan. Tiger’s golf career is finally back on track and most golfing fans would agree that he seems ready to stake his claim to being the greatest ever.
Yet for Thomas, it all comes down to race and politics, in spite of trying to cloak it all in a blathering word salad of sports gibberish.
At least one sportswriter, Dave Zirin, has said that “Etan Thomas is about as strong a voice as we have on issues of social protest, sports and the hypocrisy of the right.” So with that perspective, we can correctly approach Thomas’s bias.
Throughout his self-indulgent article, which seems to indicate he gets paid by the word, Thomas says that he accepts that Woods has overcome institutionalized racism all his life and has blazed trails in the process. He accepts the greatness of Tiger’s golf game and a career full of achievements.
Thomas even pays lip service to Tiger’s right to hold political views different than his own.
But the actual gist of his screed belies that last assertion. Getting right down to it, Thomas is critical of the fact that Tiger Woods is not a social justice warrior. It really bums him out that Tiger golfs with President Trump.
The fact that Tiger has stood unapologetically alongside Donald Trump is particularly troubling to me. Now let me say I have absolutely no problem with Woods voicing a political opinion that differs from mine. I’m not a person who wants to silence anyone who has an opinion or supports a position that I don’t agree with, and attempt to discredit them, demean them or personally attack them in any way shape or form. Just as I applaud LeBron James and Steph Curry and the entire Golden State Warriors under head coach Steve Kerr for taking the stance that they didn’t want to attend the White House after their NBA championship because their politics didn’t align with Trump’s, I also have to support somebody like Tom Brady’s choice to not want to attend when President Obama was in office because that’s his right, even if I don’t agree with it. If I don’t, I fall into the same category of a Laura Ingraham, who told LeBron and Kevin Durant to shut up and dribble simply because their opinion differs from hers.
Thomas’s slam dunk on Woods came when he accuses him of aligning himself with Trump, “… condoning a man who is exactly what former ESPN commentator Jemele Hill called him: a white supremacist or a supporter of white supremacy and white nationalism.”
Apparently throwing down the gauntlet to Tiger, he states, “When you boast about being longtime friends with Trump … you are in fact choosing a side.”
“#Trump will publicly support #JimBrown and #KanyeWest and #SteveHarvey and #RayLewis and #TigerWoods because they have publicly kissed the ring. He will use them each as his Black Friend who agrees with him and supports him and loves him” https://t.co/QtY8CA7fGN
— Etan Thomas (@etanthomas36) April 22, 2019
Etan Thomas is a nobody, his opinion is minimum. He is not a Hall of Famer or former All Star, All NBA player nothing. Sit down sir.
— Larry Calhoun (@LBoogy31) April 23, 2019
Black folks have clowned this man mercilessly for a decade or more. Laughed at his sorrow when he got divorced. Reveled in his misery. If I were him, I would turn my back on the BC as well. What has the BC ever done for Tiger?
— Deborrah Cooper (@MsHeartBeat) April 23, 2019
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