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MY TAKE ON… The Tiger Woods Scandal

December 9, 2009

For the last 10 days, newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic – and probably all over the world – have been full of the news of Tiger Woods’ many “transgressions”.  The salacious details have been spewing forth from the mouths of his ever-growing army of mistresses, all with their own cringe-worthy accounts of illicit sex, drug-taking and extra-marital naughtiness.  It seems that not a single day passes by without another one of his ‘ladies’ (and I use the term loosely) coming forward to tell the world of her experiences with the champion golfer.  Presumably, if all of this were untrue, Tiger would have been very vocally threatening lawsuits left, right and centre.  The simple fact alone that he has not done so, speaks volumes.

Today, we hear that Tiger’s mother-in-law has collapsed from the strain of all this.  One can only wonder how his poor wife, Elin, is holding up.  Although, I have to be honest here, and say that my sympathies are limited somewhat by the news that she willingly accepted the situation in exchange for the comfortable lifestyle in which Tiger keeps her.  Whether this is true or not, only the two of them – and quite possibly their lawyers – know for sure.  What I would say though, is that it would take somebody extremely stupid – or at best, naive – not to know at least some of what Tiger was up to.

And therein lies my problem with this whole situation.  Through all the news reports, online speculation and thousands of crude ‘jokes’ about Tiger and his affairs, two little people seem to have been conveniently forgotten.  The children.  Those two tiny babies who are stuck in that house with feuding parents, lurid allegations and reporters camped outside hoping for a glimpse of their errant father or their wronged mother.  They are only ever mentioned as an afterthought, with no apparent concern as to their welfare at all.  Now, I realise that the Woods’ probably have an army of staff at their Florida mansion, including many people capable of taking the children out of the way and caring for them.  There is absolutely no suggestion that they are being physically neglected.  That, I’m afraid, is not the point.

Tiger’s babies are aged just 2 and 10 months respectively.  Not old enough to understand what is happening around them – thank goodness – but old enough to realise that something very wrong is going on in their home.  Charlie’s first Christmas will be marred by his father’s extra-marital activities and the ongoing reaction to them.  The shockwaves of this scandal will echo down the years for those two young children.  At a time when they should be happily hanging the decorations and excitedly waiting for Santa to arrive, they will instead be surrounded by grief, misery and pain.  Of course, I am not suggesting that Tiger and Elin will deliberately ruin their childrens’ Christmas.  In a situation like the one they find themselves in, the hurt will be evident, no matter how they attempt to hide it.

And moving on from this moment, from the women coming forward and selling their stories, from whatever eventually happens to their parents’ marriage, those babies will grow up confused and unsure.  According to at least one mistress, Tiger’s marriage was a sham from the start.  He cheated on Elin while they were still engaged and throughout her pregnancies.  If true, where does that leave the children?  They will grow up wondering if they were conceived out of convenience and to further the Tiger Woods money-making empire, when they should be able to say they were conceived out of love.

However much money, comfort and luxury is afforded to Sam and Charlie Woods, both now and in the future, I hope that Tiger and Elin keep their children’s emotional welfare at the forefront of their minds.  They will need lots of love, reassurance and support to get through this and move on.  They need to know that they are loved by both their mother and their father, no matter what else happens.  I sincerely hope that they are not the forgotten victims of this whole tawdry mess.

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