Criticism of Tiger Woods Is Fair: A Fan's Take

Yahoo Contributor Network

When it comes to Tiger Woods, drama is never too far away. In the latest bit of news involving the 14-time major champion, Tiger's swing coach is coming to his defense.

Sean Foley spoke in a radio interview about how the criticism of Tiger is out of hand. He said that the ripping of Tiger as a golfer and a person was too much. While I respect Foley for sticking up for his man and agree that every little thing Tiger does is scrutinized, I don't agree with his overall message. Tiger is a huge star and that means he is going to invite criticism. In fact, he plays an active role in inviting some of it.

Like any highly paid athlete, Tiger is going to be criticized frequently. The biggest stars in all sports go through this, and few are as big as he is. It would be strange if he wasn't criticized. To be fair, he has earned a lot of that with his play on the course. He doesn't seem like the same golfer. He no longer intimidates opponents, and he is no longer the favorite whenever he steps on the course. Tiger has struggled with the putter and his game hasn't had any consistency. Those elements are fair to criticize.

I'm not sure what exactly Foley is referring to when he talks about Tiger being criticized as a person. If it is the personal issues that went public in 2009, I don't really agree. You don't see a lot of people that still talk about that stuff on a regular basis. However, Tiger does deserve some personal criticism. When he had his mea culpa, he said that his attitude on the course would change. I haven't really seen that. It's not just the kicking of the club during the Masters. It's that constant expression of anger he seems to always have. Tiger seems just as unapproachable as ever and that sends the wrong message to fans. Again, this is fair to criticize.

At the end of the day, we all knew Tiger would be under constant scrutiny ever since he became a professional golfer. We are talking about someone that was destined for this from the moment he could walk. When you are anointed as a savior of a sport, you can expect pressure like this. Every star athlete is going to be criticized constantly. It might not always be right but that's the way of the sports world. When LeBron James has a poor shooting night or says something stupid, he can expect to see the majority of "SportsCenter" devoted to talking about it.

Tiger should expect the same thing.

* - Mark Paul is an avid golf fan. He has watched and played the game since high school.

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