Monday, November 10, 2008

Tiger Woods, who has mostly deflected questions about this year’s presidential election publicly, finally shared his thoughts on Barack Obama after Obama became the first African-American to win a U.S. presidential election last week.
Woods, who is arguably the world’s most famous African-American athlete, told reporters at his course-design project in North Carolina that he was pleased with Obama’s victory and wished his father, Earl, could have lived to see it, according to USA Today. For more than a decade Woods, as perhaps the world's most popular athlete, has been one of most influential African-Americans.Although he does not have a personal relationship with Obama, he said, "It will be one of the great days in America to see a man of color in the White House."Woods said Obama's victory pleased him and it would have pleased his father, the late Earl Woods, who was a retired Army officer."My father hoped he would see a man of color elected president in his lifetime," Woods said. "He didn't see it, but I hoped that I would see it." Woods caught some grief from news outlets when his post-election newsletter didn’t mention Obama’s victory. (Sample headline: "Woods snubs Obama in monthly newsletter," which was unfair considering the newsletter was concerned with things like who appeared at a recent Tiger Woods Block Party.) However, Woods had spoken well of Obama earlier in the year at Dubai, as Chris Lewis recounts in his blog. Q. Just to totally change tack, could I ask you a Barack Obama question?TIGER WOODS: Oh, God, here we go.Q. Just your thoughts on the way he has inspired a generation of Americans who clearly weren't interested in politics before.TIGER WOODS: Well, I've seen him speak. He's extremely articulate, very thoughtful. I'm just impressed at how well, basically all politicians really do, how well they think on their feet. Especially those debates, it's pretty phenomenal to see them get their point across. But I just think that he's really inspired a bunch of people in our country, and you know, we'll see what happens down the road. That’s high praise from the reticent Woods, who appears to have taken his good pal Michael Jordan’s advice when it comes to politics. Once asked to support a challenger to hard-line GOP Sen. Jesse Helms in his home state of North Carolina, Jordan reportedly declined, saying, “Republicans buy sneakers too.”

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