Tiger Woods: "I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves."
"I am deeply aware of the disappointment and hurt that my infidelity has caused to so many people, most of all my wife and children. I want to say again to everyone that I am profoundly sorry and that I ask forgiveness."
"As the final round of the Chevron World Challenge begins, I would like to extend my heartfelt thank you to everyone affiliated with the event, especially our amazing title sponsor, Chevron."
Doctors amputated her lower leg because
of a cancerous tumor
"I am so grateful to [Chevron] for their efforts, and I am sincerely sorry I was unable to fulfill my duties as host and player in this important event."
result of water contamination
"I am especially grateful for all those who have offered compassion and concern during this difficult period... I would like to ask everyone, including my fans, the good people at my foundation, business partners, the PGA Tour, and my fellow competitors, for their understanding."
shows the skin cancer on her leg at her
home in Sacha
"What's most important now is that my family has the time, privacy, and safe haven we will need for personal healing."
(The bottom three photographs are some of the many people affected by Chevron-Texaco's activities in Ecuador — the dumping of over 18 billion gallons of toxic waste into the rainforest which has resulted in abnormally high cancer rates, miscarriages, and birth defects. The case — consisting of thirty-thousand Ecuadorians vs. Chevron-Texaco — is still ongoing. Tiger Woods entered into an extensive five-year partnership with Chevron Corporation in 2008. He is aware of their horrible reputation1).
Tiger Woods is a symbol of America, a symbol projected and recognized throughout the world. In this sense he represents my country well: a multiracial man adorned in clothing made in Malaysian sweatshops, traveling the world to speak on behalf of the corporations that own him2, all of it hidden behind the veneer of a shiny smile and backed with a bag of clubs. And he's out to cover the world in golf courses wherever there is profit to be made!
In 1998 Tiger Woods was in Hacienda Looc, one of the Philippines beautiful seaside communities, on behalf of sponsors looking to promote golf and build new courses in the region. The plan was to destroy the farms and the "low impact and low level-commercial agriculture that sustains more than 7,000 peasants who populate Hacienda Looc's four villages"3, and replace it with a tourist center and golf course called Harbortown.4 Like the corporations he represents, it's clear that Tiger doesn't care where he gets his fill as long as it gets it. He takes what he wants wherever he goes, consequences be damned — which is why his extra-marital conquests are more or less a given and should be shocking to no one except those who allow themselves to see only the well-crafted facade. All of this makes him another symbol: capitalism personified.
If only Woods was being scrutinized for partnering with Chevron or helping boost the sales of Nike, notorious for their sweatshops, or for building a golf course in Dubai, etc. But this will never happen, of course, because many of Tiger's sponsors own the mainstream media by making them wear the very same logos. It's also not an exciting story to tell as it's very complicated and filled with many "boring details."
All of this "news" has been constantly bombarding us. Meanwhile I've heard only a sound bite about this recent New York Times article: "Since 2004, the water provided to more than 49 million people [in America] has contained illegal concentrations of chemicals like arsenic or radioactive substances like uranium, as well as dangerous bacteria often found in sewage." Sadly, this isn't shocking to me.
"Lakes around the U.S. have been permanently damaged by negligent dumping of nitrate-laden runoff from golf courses, and their construction in hot and arid regions create severe depletion of water resources. [...] Some developers use waste water from residential developments in an effort to avoid depletion of local water resources. This has often resulted in the contamination of local streams. Here, in Austin, the three 18-hole courses located on the Barton Creek watershed use up to 300,000 gallons of waste water a day, leading to contamination of the creek with phosphorus, nitrogen and fecal coliform bacteria." (Lush Green, Muddy Waters)
Golf course displaces farmers, taints water. "In addition to the lack of jobs, the biggest challenge facing Lam Son residents is the pollution of Rong Tam Spring, the sole source of water in the area. The spring, currently part of Phuong Hoang Golf Course, has been tainted by chemicals such as insecticide, which is used to clean and keep grass green."
Clubbing Southeast Asia - The Impacts of Golf Course Development. "The dangers of the high pesticide and fertilizer use at golf courses was illustrated at the Sapporo Kokusai Country Club in Hiroshima township on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, where managers had organic copper compounds spread on the grass to keep it from rotting under the winter snow. When it rained, the chemical was washed into the water system, killing over 90,000 fish in a nearby aquaculture project."
"After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf. I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person."
1The Nation, When Tiger Met Chevron: "Ka Hsaw Wa, co-founder and executive director of EarthRights International, wrote in an open letter to Woods, "I myself have spoken to victims of forced labor, rape, and torture on Chevron's pipeline--if you heard what they said to me, you too would understand how their tragic stories stand in stark contrast to Chevron's rhetoric about helping communities." ERI's request to meet with Woods or someone from the foundation has been met with silence."
2 Other sponsors include: Tatweer: The Tiger Woods Dubai. (See: Johann Hari, The Dark Side of Dubai. Dubai also refused to allow a Jewish tennis player a visa to play in the Dubai Tennis Championships). AT&T: "AT&T was one of the telecommunications companies that assisted with the government's warrantless wire-tapping program on calls between foreign and domestic sources." And of course Nike.
3 C.L. Cole, The Place of Golf in US Imperialism. See also The Golf War.
4 I haven't been able to find out how this story turned out (ie, if the resort/course was ever built) but the fact that Woods was there to promote it is the entire point. If it was stopped it was stopped by the residents.