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If you haven’t seen the new Nike commercial with Tiger Woods, save yourself — you don’t want to see it.
The borderline-disturbing commercial, which was shot in black-and-white, has Tiger sitting stone-faced in front of the camera, with his dead father speaking in the background and saying “Have you learned your lesson?” The only light that’s been made from the situation comes from all the great parodies to look forward to (Watch SNL this Saturday to see Keenan humiliate Tiger even further.).
The commercial was a bold move by Nike. Rather than not trying to do anything to cleanse itself from it’s biggest endorser’s public suicide, it seems they tried to portray a message everyone can agree with: Tiger made a boo boo. Tiger is made to look like a teenager getting in trouble and his father finally reaching out to him, like he’ll never do it again.
Nike has dropped athletes in the past, but with the revenue Tiger is bound to keep making them, I’m sure they’re willing to risk their image on this one. They had a similar commercial with Charles Barkley years ago when he proclaimed, “I’m not a role model.” Truth be told, he’s the one gambling away money with Tiger.
The whole scandal is uncomfortable like the commercial. If you’ve read any of the texts, Tiger Woods is a golden shower shy of being the new R Kelly. The only problem I have with Tiger, Nike, and this whole situation is that it further desensitizes popular culture to infidelity and unacceptable behavior.
Tiger Woods is a golf God. He makes a lot of money. So many people look up to him, including young kids. How many women will Ben Roethlisberger be accused of assaulting before people stop rooting for him? How many times can Kobe Bryant cheat on his wife before people stop loving him? As role models to people like me and anyone else who love sports, we’re forced to deal with the question as to whether or not we can still root for players with terrible personal lives…players who we would not want to identify with off the court, course, ice, and field. It just makes you worry that regular people will follow suit.