Tiger Woods isn't alone in portraying women as inferior especially on sporting landscape

David Whitley
The Gainesville Sun
Feb 19, 2023; Pacific Palisades, California, USA; Tiger Woods walks to the third hole green during the final round of The Genesis Invitational golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Tiger Woods ventured into tampon promotion last week, and it did not go well. Though the reaction missed one key point.

Before we proceed, let me apologize to readers who never thought they’d see “tampon” in a sports story. Times have changed. Bobby Jones, as far as we know, never slipped a feminine hygiene product to Gene Sarazen.

Woods covertly (he thought) slipped one to Justin Thomas after outdriving him on a par 4 at last week’s Genesis Open. With the usual 842 photographers following Woods, the prank was caught on camera.

Worldwide outrage predictably ensued. British commentator Sarah Stirk summed it all up.

“It was laddy, blokey behavior, passing him the tampon, effectively saying, ‘I’ve outdriven you. You’re driving the ball like a woman.'

“Effectively, the inference of the incident that happened and to me says females, women are inferior to men. Women should not be portrayed as being inferior to men in any walk of life, and certainly on a sporting landscape.”

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News Flash: Women are inferior to men in some walks of life. Men are inferior to women in other walks.

That doesn’t mean Tiger’s prank wasn’t laddy, blokey, sexist and ill-advised. But women are routinely portrayed as inferior to men – especially on a sporting landscape.

Women’s basketballs are smaller and lighter than those men use, to allow for differences in hand size and upper body strength. Women tennis matches are best-of-three sets instead of five sets, supposedly due to differing endurance capabilities.

A woman’s shot put and discus are smaller than what a man must throw. And what about “ladies tees”?

Women aren’t required to hit from the red tees, and a lot of men should use them. But the average length of a PGA Tour course is 7,200 yards. It’s 6,400 yards for LPGA courses.

“If I offended anybody in any way, shape or form, I apologize,” Woods said.

Should the LPGA apologize for essentially portraying women as inferior 18 times per round? No, it is simply tailoring its game to biological differences between the sexes.

Acknowledging there even are differences is almost taboo these days, of course. So is joking about them. But if you must be blokey, for God’s sake don’t do it with 842 cameras around …

Gators swimmers sweep SEC championships

Stud of the Week: Florida’s men’s and women’s swimming teams, for sweeping the SEC championships. It was the 11th straight title for the men. Let’s see Kirby Smart do that, right?

Stud II: Toronto manager John Schneider, for successfully administering the Heimlich maneuver on a woman who was choking on a shrimp at a Dunedin restaurant. Tiger Woods promptly joked that the dislodged shrimp flew farther because Schneider is a man.

Dud of the Week: NBA commissioner Adam Silver, for saying he doesn’t “buy into the idea” that load management is a problem for the league. Silver then sat out the next five questions of his press conference to lessen the risk he might sprain his tongue …

Not-Sports Dud of the Week: Marco Goecke. The director of the Hannover ballet in Germany smeared dog poop on the face of the theater critic for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung after she wrote a bad review.

Oddly enough, Goecke played the male-victim card. “If I’d been a woman and the critic a man, this would be seen differently,” he told the New York Times.

I’m no expert on dog poop, but I think it looks the same on both men’s and women’s faces …

Tiger II: On Saturday, he hit an errant tee shot that somehow landed in a pocket of a spectator’s jacket. Hey, better to get a golf ball from Woods than a you-know-what …

Wilt the Stilt was marathon man during '61-'62 NBA season

I don’t want to say today’s players are soft, but Wilt Chamberlain played every minute of every game in the 1961-62 season. He averaged 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds a game. And he did it in canvas sneakers …

Due to load management concerns, please skip reading two of the next three items …

After playing for the Blue Jays, Padres, Braves, Devil Rays, Cubs and Dodgers, Fred McGriff said last week he will not have a logo on the cap of his Hall of Fame plaque. If Pete Rose is elected, he has reportedly narrowed his logo choices to DraftKings or BetMGM …

Bryce Harper did not have a Sharpie to sign a fan’s hat at the Phoenix airport last week. The Phillies’ slugger got a pen, autographed his left shoe and gave it to the fan. Florida fans, insert your own Marco Wilson joke …

The XFL season started over the weekend. I’ll give a free three-month subscription to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung to any reader who can name at least two teams without looking them up …

This Just In: Tiger Woods has announced the cap on his Hall of Fame plaque will have a Tampax logo …

That’s about all the space we have for this week’s Whitley’s Believe It or Not. If you were offended in any way, shape or form, please don’t register your objection with the help of your dog.

David Whitley is The Gainesville Sun's sports columnist. Contact him at Follow him on Twitter @DavidEWhitley