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HBO's Tiger presents the "white America" take on Tiger Woods that barely touched on his Blackness

  • The two-part HBO documentary "barely touches a hugely important reality of Tiger's life, that he was raised by a Black father and an immigrant mother while playing a sport dominated by wealthy white people," says Rod Benson. "It’s also surprisingly light on the weightiest aspect of Tiger's legacy: He’s the greatest golfer to ever live, one of the most successful people on the planet, and he inspired millions (including myself) to take up the game and break into a space that was not seen as racially inclusive until he made it so. Instead, the documentary wants you to feel ...  sad. It goes to great lengths to label its villains — the mistresses, the opioids, emotional compartmentalization and the game of golf itself. If the documentarians really wanted to go down that route, they at least owed it to their audience to name the true culprit for all of the above, which is access to the fruits of white America." Benson adds that "I think (Woods' father) Earl was lying when he said they would have let Tiger get into bowling. It had to be golf. What the documentary doesn’t explain is that Earl conditioned Tiger to speak and act in a manner pleasing to white people. Earl knew Tiger would use golf to get access to the right schools and meet successful white people early and often. In those situations, Tiger learned, the same way I did, how to be tolerable to white America. Golf was his in, but his white guy impression of, 'Hi! I’m Tiger. Golly it’s nice to meet you!' was how he stayed. Earl understood that Tiger would have been kicked off every golf course with racist roots if he had an Afro-centric personality. The documentary doesn’t bother addressing that, which is crucially missed context. It would certainly have helped fill in some gaps during all the 'Tiger just wanted to be himself' bullsh*t scenes that make Earl’s lack of emotional teaching villainous. For real, just listen to how the music changes whenever Earl is brought up. It reminds me of how con artists are introduced on Inside Edition."

    TOPICS: Tiger Woods, HBO, Tiger, Documentaries