Commentary

Woods responds to recent controversies

Updated: January 24, 2008, 3:47 PM ET
By Bob Harig | Special to ESPN.com

LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Tiger Woods took issue Wednesday with those who have suggested that he should have said more in the aftermath of comments made by Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman at the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship three weeks ago.

Tilghman, who has been unavailable for comment this week, is expected to return to the Golf Channel on Thursday at the Buick Invitational after a two-week suspension for saying that Woods' peers should "lynch" him in a back alley.

The racially insensitive comment -- for which Tilghman apologized on the air and personally to Woods -- has been a source of controversy ever since. Woods initially accepted the apology through his agent, Mark Steinberg, and called it a "non-issue."

That prompted many commentators to suggest that Woods could have done more, as they wondered why he has not been more outspoken about social issues.

"I am socially active every day of my life," Woods said at Torrey Pines, where he will make his first start of the year at the Buick Invitational. "And that's with my foundation, what I try to do with kids."

The Tiger Woods Foundation, based in Anaheim, Calif., has seen thousands of children pass through its doors. Started at the urging of Woods' late father, Earl, soon after Woods turned pro in 1996, the foundation has been the beneficiary of his fundraising powers. Three tournaments benefit the foundation and he also typically gives it all of his earnings from the Target World Challenge.

"I know there are people who want me to be a champion of all causes, and I just can't do that," Woods said.

The controversy grew last week when Golfweek magazine put the image of a noose on its cover, a decision that led to the firing of editor Dave Seanor.

"I thought the incident was pretty much handled and was over," Woods said. "I talked to Kelly. We discussed it for a little bit. She felt extremely bad about what happened. As I said earlier, she's been a great friend over the years, and everyone makes mistakes, and she certainly regrets what she said and what happened.

"The Golfweek cover … just perpetuated it. It was over and handled between us, and we had moved on from it. But unfortunately Golfweek did what they did, and from there it created more of a firestorm."

Bob Harig is a frequent contributor to ESPN.com. He can be reached at BobHarig@gmail.com.

Bob Harig | email

Golf Writer, ESPN.com

ALSO SEE