A few weeks ago I alerted readers to Derek Jeter’s new website, theplayerstribune.com. The now retired baseball superstar created the site to enable professional athletes to have a vehicle to communicate directly with fans without a biased media filter. Since then contributors have included Danica Patrick, Kevin Love, and Brendan Shanahan, and their posts have been really interesting.
This week Tiger Woods added his name to the list of Guest Contributors, penning an irate response to an article written by respected sports reporter Dan Jenkins in the December issue of Golf Digest. Jenkins piece, titled “My Interview with Tiger”, with an asterisk and this: ‘or how it plays out in my mind’ is a mock up of an interview with the golfing legend.
Jenkins piece is light-hearted, poking fun at some of Tiger’s less than admirable qualities (or those ascribed to him over the years), such as his penchant for firing people, his reputation as a lousy tipper, and his tendencies to alienate friends. I read the article, and it was entertaining, albeit at Tiger’s expense. There was no doubt in my mind that the interview was a fake, something Tiger clearly feels Golf Digest readers may miss.
Something else Tiger did not see in Jenkins’ post was the humor, and in fact he was so incensed by Jenkins’ depiction of him that he felt he needed to respond. “These things aren’t jokes, they are character slanders and ones for which Jenkins has no basis whatsoever”, Woods says in his Players Tribune retort.
Woods, who wrote a monthly column for Golf Digest from 1997 to 2010, claims there was no request from Jenkins for an interview in the first place. He is currently recovering from back surgery and is expected to return to professional golf next month.
I wonder why Tiger, after all the media attention he’s received over the years, both positive and negative, is being so sensitive to this particular article. What do you think?