The graphic above shows Jay-Z’s 99 problems vs. Tiger’s. It’s from Fast Company. It’s pretty funny.

However, I for one am

a) sick of hearing about Tiger Woods’ women

b) sick of hearing jokes about Tiger Woods

c) sick of bigots like Glenn Beck comparing Tiger to O.J. Simpson, (and other racism) when the 2 of them share only 4 similarities: they are black, prefer white women, had all-American superstar images that ended up tarnished by very bad behavior.

Tiger’s behavior is unacceptable — but he didn’t kill anyone, allegedly nor otherwise. Still, it’s interesting to me that no one is talking about what would drive a talented young athlete to such sick, self-destructive behavior. The truth is that Tiger is almost akin to a child star. He’s like the Britney Spears of sports having started as a pro golfer in the public eye at the tender age of 5. Once his father became sick and then died a couple of years, it’s clear that Tiger lost his way.

I don’t know much about sex addiction. What I do know is what a old friend of mine once told me about his life. He said: “I run a business with clients & staff who need me. I have a house that needs me. I have a wife who needs me to be a husband and kids who need a father. If I tried to do almost anything else — like take a mistress — one of those other things would have to give. Something would fall down. Something would fail. Something would break.”

Tiger didn’t have his daddy around anymore to tell him this and apparently decided to figure it out the hard way. He will spend the rest of his life transcending his personal failings. He never wanted to be a role model for African-Americans. And he’s succeeded there for sure.

Tiger will spend the rest of his life living down his sordid conduct and rebuilding his no-longer-sterling brand. It’s no wonder that Accenture dropped him as a spokesperson for their brand which is all about strategy, courage & precision decision-making. Tiger no longer fits the bill.

Still does he deserve some of our compassion rather than just our jeers?

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