Smart Girls Who Do Stupid Things

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On Behalf of Tiger Woods (Sort of)

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In a recent NYT blog post, Timothy Egan wrote a blistering editorial berating Nike for standing by Pittsburgh Steeler, and alleged rapist, Ben Roethlisberger, when even the NFL suspended him and mandated behavioral counseling. 95% of Egan’s arguments are totally on target (and articulately put), particularly the stark contrast between Nike’s treatment of Michael Vick (they dropped him after the dog fighting debacle) and their continued support of Roethlisberger (“Ben continues to be part of the Nike roster of athletes.”) Egan writes,

What, exactly does it take for Nike to dump a jock? Dog-fighting will do it. After Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick pleaded guilty to running a felony dog-fighting ring, Nike took action. “We consider any cruelty to animals inhumane and unacceptable,” the company said at the time. But cruelty to women is O.K. I don’t know how else to read the company’s inconsistent stand. Here is a guy who treats women like garbage, yet a company that boasts of having humane corporate values uses him as their front man. Ditto Tiger Woods. Same with Kobe Bryant after a rape allegation, a case that was later dropped.

After giving Egan all deserved credit for pointing out the obvious hypocrisy and blatant double standard, I have one tiny, nitpicky problem with his article. He continues to include Tiger Woods in his litany of badly behaving superstar athletes. I see where he was going; all of the men share a gigantic sense of entitlement fostered by a buffer zone of wealth, celebrity and an outstanding ability to make a ball go where you want it to go. It seems as though they have a lot in common. Shared douchebaggery aside, when it comes to the treatment of women, Tiger Woods and Ben Roethlisberger do not belong on the same list.

Tiger Woods was a terrible husband, a philanderer and a liar. He may be disrespectful, a lousy role model and in need of counseling and rehab for sex addiction. But of all the women with whom Tiger cheated, none have accused him of rape or assualt. Did he use them? Maybe (probably). Did they use him? Maybe (probably). Tiger and his mistresses were adults having consensual, albeit adultory, sex. What happened between him, his wife, and his mistresses is for divorce lawyers to negotiate. Ben Roethlisberger, judging by the testimony of the three women who have thus come forward, is a rapist. Sexual assault, attempted rape, rape… these are crimes. People who do these things do not belong on Nike billboards, they belong in jail. Tiger is an asshole, but Ben Roethlisberger is a criminal. Let’s note the difference before we go lumping all overpaid, oversexed athletes together. That just wouldn’t be fair.


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4 Responses to “On Behalf of Tiger Woods (Sort of)”


  1. In the meantime… | rosiesaysblog
    on Dec 22nd, 2010
    @ 11:54 am

    […] Tiger Woods, athletes, sex, the difference between adultery and assault […]


  2. If Only | rosiesaysblog
    on Jan 12th, 2011
    @ 12:36 pm

    […] Post: I wrote about Ben Roethlisberger and athlete entitlement a few months ago for Smart Girls, Stupid Things, so check that […]


  3. Why You Don’t Have to Say “Fuck the Dogs” to Root for Michael Vick | rosiesaysblog
    on Jan 22nd, 2011
    @ 11:03 am

    […] Related Post: Why Tiger Woods and Ben Roethlisberger don’t belong in the same sentence, originally posted at Smart Girls. […]


  4. Ladies Only Fantasy Football | rosiesaysblog
    on Sep 2nd, 2011
    @ 6:43 am

    […] roster is dominated by alleged sex-offenders and other potential (and convicted) criminal types . Ben Roethlisberger, Mark Sanchez, Michael Vick… these are the names I can come up […]

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