Tiger Woods Ripped For Accepting Trump’s Presidential Medal Of Freedom Honor
He is, arguable, the greatest golfer who ever lived.
But Tiger Woods is being criticized for accepting an award from the president of the United States — And the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony doesn’t even happen until Monday at 6 p.m.
“It sullies everybody,” Rick Reilly, the author of “Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump,” told the New York Times. He added that accepting the award “puts a big stain on Tiger.”
“Tiger Woods is obviously a very talented golfer,” Aaron Scherb, the director of legislative affairs for Common Cause, a watchdog group, also told the Times. Trump awarding him the Medal of Freedom “shows he’s willing to use any tool of government to benefit his business and political allies,” Scherb said.
Shortly after the award was announced LAST MONTH, Reilly wrote on Twitter: “How can @TigerWoods accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom from a man who thinks golf should only be for the rich? “Where you aspire to join a club someday, you want to play, (so) you go out and become successful.” … Bull. If that were true, there’d BE no Tiger Woods.”
How can @TigerWoods accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom from a man who thinks golf should only be for the rich? "Where you aspire to join a club someday, you want to play, (so) you go out and become successful." … Bull. If that were true, there'd BE no Tiger Woods.
— Rick Reilly (@ReillyRick) April 16, 2019
Other Twitters piled on, bringing up the golfer’s scandal that led to his divorce.
For doing what exactly to promote freedom? Cheating on his wife? Winning, losing, them winning at a sport? You might want to ask someone to read you the guidelines for the medal of freedom if the words are too big for you. Nothing against tiger but what did he do?
— Lor (@lorlor40) April 16, 2019
Others said Woods doesn’t deserve the award.
Trump will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom for Tiger Woods. Yes Woods is a legendary golfer. No he does not remotely deserve the nation's highest civilian honor.
— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) April 15, 2019
Tiger regularly plays golf with a man who wouldn’t rent him an apartment if he wasn’t Tiger Woods. A man who was a Vietnam draft dodger who mocked a man held as a POW in Vietnam, while Tiger’s father served. A man who routinely insults women of color. Says quite a lot.
— VoteClub (@octoberskeye) April 17, 2019
Others defended the award, which was announced shortly after Woods won the first major golf tournament of 2019, The Masters.
@TigerWoods just completed one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, in no small part by ignoring the opinions of others and not subscribing to rhetoric. Sports, like politics, is a place to measure successes, not morals.
— Matthew Clifton (@drugsmug1) April 16, 2019
Congratulations to @TigerWoods for earning such an honor. He deserves it in my opinion.
— Michael Miller (@MLMikeMilli) April 16, 2019
For his part, Woods mostly avoids talking about politics. He has played golf several times with Trump, and when asked last year about his relationship with the president, Woods said: “Well, he’s the president of the United States. You have to respect the office.”
For the record, the award doesn’t go only to military members and heroes. Barack Obama gave the award to many Hollywood actors, including Tom Hanks, Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep. Obama also gave the award to a dozen pro athletes, including Billie Jean King, Michael Jordan and Yogi Berra. See the full list here.