Tiger to speak at Lincoln Memorial

Updated: January 16, 2009, 7:20 PM ET
Associated Press

Tiger Woods, who has tried to stay out of politics during his ascent to become one of the world's most famous athletes, has accepted an invitation to speak at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday as part of President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration festivities.

Woods posted a short statement on his Web site to say he would speak at "We Are One," a concert and celebration that will be broadcast live on HBO and feature entertainers such as Beyonce, U2, Stevie Wonder and Garth Brooks, along with appearances by Denzel Washington and Martin Luther King III.

"I am honored that I was invited to this historic event and look forward to participating in Sunday's festivities," Woods said.

Organizers of "We Are One" did not say what Woods would do at the Lincoln Memorial celebration.

Woods rarely gets involved in political discussions and festivities. He was criticized in 1997 after his watershed victory at The Masters, when he turned down an invitation from former President Bill Clinton to travel to Shea Stadium in New York to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier.

A year ago in Dubai, when a reporter began to ask about Obama, Woods smiled and said, "Oh, God, here we go." He then said he was impressed with how Obama and all politicians were so quick on their feet, especially in debates.

"I think that he's really inspired a bunch of people in our country, and we'll see what happens down the road," Woods said at the time.

After Obama's landslide victory, Woods said on CNBC he had been hopeful that a black man would be elected president in his lifetime.

"I think it's absolutely incredible," he told the cable network. "He represents America. He's multiracial. I was hoping it would happen in my lifetime. My father was hoping it would happen in his lifetime, but he didn't get to see it. I'm lucky enough to have seen a person of color in the White House."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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