Tiger Woods is an ass

>> Tuesday, December 1, 2009

and not because of his car accident or who he is or isn't fucking. No, he's an ass because he chooses money over having a social conscience.

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As Dave Zirin put it in one of his columns:
This squeaky-clean reputation has helped Woods become the richest athlete in history, the first billion-dollar man. His career course earnings are $92 million. Only when you factor in advertisements, corporate appearances and other off-course aspects of "Tiger Inc" does Woods reach billionaire status.

As the saying goes, behind every great fortune is a great crime.

Following his car "accident" Woods's agent said that it is unclear whether he will attend his foundation's Chevron World Challenge Golf Tournament. In 2008, Chevron entered a five-year relationship with Tiger Woods' foundation under the guise of philanthropy. But if Woods had a shred of social conscience, this partnership would never have existed. Lawsuits have been issued against Chevron for dumping toxic waste all over the planet. Alaska, Canada, Brazil, Angola and California have all accused Chevron of dumping. Even worse, Chevron has a partnership with Burma's ruling military junta on the country's Yadana gas pipeline project, the single greatest source of revenue for the military, estimated at nearly $5 billion since the year 2000.

Ka Hsaw Wa, co-founder and executive director of EarthRights International, wrote in an open letter to Woods, "I myself have spoken to victims of forced labor, rape, and torture on Chevron's pipeline--if you heard what they said to me, you too would understand how their tragic stories stand in stark contrast to Chevron's rhetoric about helping communities." Chevron is underwriting a dictatorship but Tiger Woods apparently sees them as upstanding corporate partners.
It used to be quite common for professional athletes to take political stances on issues. I remember hearing about Muhammad Ali's stance on the Vietnam War in the 60s or 70s even though I didn't exist at the time. I remember hearing about it because in the 90s another sports columnist contrasted Ali to the dominant sports figure of the decade—Michael Jordan. Anyone remember Michael Jordan taking public stances on the big political issues of the 90s? Yeah, I don't remember any either. Money was priority number one. As it is for the ethically challenged Tiger Woods.

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