While NFL players continue to protest during the national anthem and NBA players remain at odds with the office of the President and the current political climate, one of the world’s most iconic athletes took the high road after reporters hoped to pile on a little more negative press.
Following his final round at The Northern Trust this weekend, Tiger Woods, the 14-time major champion, stood firm in his response facing ill-timed political questions. He showed that no matter your political affiliation, Donald J. Trump is still the president of our great country, and the office should be respected.
Tiger Woods has battled back this season, setting himself up for a potentially historic run in 2019, but his 2018 golf season isn’t over quite yet. At the first event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs at the Ridgewood Championship Course, Woods carded a minus-4 for the tournament and finished tied for 40th — he was 14 strokes back of the event’s winner, Bryson DeChambeau.
In the middle of his post-round interview, Woods was asked two questions about race relations, President Donald Trump, and what Woods’ personal relationship was like with the him both pre-presidency and today.
The reporter’s first question was, “At times, especially 2018, I think a lot of people, especially people of color and immigrants feel threatened by him, by his policies. He’s thrown himself into sports debates in terms of race with LeBron James, with the anthem. What do you say to people who might find it interesting that you have a friendly relationship with him?”
“Well he’s the president of the United States, and you have to respect the office,” Woods said. “No matter who’s in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.”
In a follow-up attempt, the reporter asks, “Do you have anything more broadly to say about the state, I guess the discourse, of racial issues?”
With a smirk, Woods’ reply instantly shut the reporter down: “No. I just finished 72 holes and am really hungry.”
The conference then returned to what was actually important: golf.
In the past, Woods has played rounds with former presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. The 26th-ranked golfer in the world also has a villa named after him at Donald Trump’s Doral Resort golf club in Miami.
In response this morning, President Trump took to his favorite voice of the people, Twitter, applauding Woods for staying away from the ill-timed political jockeying.
Personal issues of the past aside, Woods has always been a global ambassador for the game of golf. He handles himself with class and always gives time to the media.
If you’re going to try to squeeze out a negative quote about the White House, you’re going to have to look to someone who hasn’t been in the media’s spotlight since he was a teenage sensation.