Time to let the Tiger Woods hate go

Time to let the Tiger Woods hate go

Published Nov. 8, 2011 12:00 a.m. ET

We have empowered Stevie Williams for his ability to cause suffering to Tiger Woods. That’s what he represents now. He is the champion of people who want Tiger to suffer.

It’s time for that to stop. It is such a waste of time and energy and will.

Williams is so wrapped up in hate over Woods firing him from his multi-million dollar caddie gig that the inevitable is happening: it is consuming him. As Hurricane Carter put it:

“You see, hate, anger, bitterness only consumes the vessels that contain them. It doesn’t hurt me. It hurts them.’’


Last week, Williams was in China at what seems to have been some sort of annual caddie awards/boys night out. Williams was given a tongue-in-cheek award for the year’s best celebration. Remember? After Woods fired him, he picked up with golfer Adam Scott. And when Scott won a tournament, Williams had a cocky, over-the-top celebration that included him talking about it being the best victory of his career.

What was he thinking during that celebration, he was asked last week?

“My aim,’’ he said, “was to shove it right up that black a------.’’

Now, this is being portrayed as a simple feud between Woods and his ex-caddie. But it seems bigger than that to me. There is something symbolic here, about people’s feelings toward Woods, but also, in a bigger picture, about the frustrated way we feel now in hard times, and about what has become acceptable behavior.

This seems to be an era in which everyone wants to pick a fight. Maybe so many people are suffering that they want others to suffer, too. I’m not sure. Too many people are without jobs, or in fear of losing their jobs, and Occupy movements are growing without a defined purpose, with just the understandable need to vent.

So divisive language is growing across society. The words and anger get sharper and sharper, and somehow, a caddie is empowered to make a racist remark of hatred against the guy who made him a multimillionaire.

Here’s to hoping that Williams’ remark was so over the top that it served as a wakeup call: Is that really what we’re after? Is that really what we have in mind for society?

Tiger Woods has suffered plenty. Plenty. This isn’t to defend him, though I’ve never really been sure why a person’s sex life is any of my business. It isn’t. Still, a lot of people feel that he let them down, so that feeling is genuine.

He definitely screwed up his life, and every bit of it was his fault. These were self-inflicted wounds.

And maybe this is because I am a father and husband, but at this point, my feelings about Woods are that he has completely messed up his life. You want him to suffer?

I read to my kids in bed every night. He can’t do that with his kids. I get to listen to my daughter sing her parts as she rehearses for a play, frantically help my son figure out his vocabulary words before he gets on the school bus. I get to listen to my wife talk about decorating a room, something I know zero about.

Woods threw all of that away. You don’t think he has suffered enough? He can’t do any of that.

He has destroyed his family, ruined his relationship with his kids. His career is a shambles.

Look, Tiger did nothing to hurt you. I mean, really. Enough. There is no reason for wasting emotion on wishing misery to Woods, or on just about anyone.

It can engulf you. It engulfed Williams. The danger is in ending up like him. The bitterness can crash down on us.

So we have gone entirely in the wrong direction, using our pain and frustration to actually create a wider divide.

I understand why Williams was frustrated. After all, the guy was fired. Everyone is going to have a little animus toward a boss who dumped him or her.

At the time, it seemed hard to understand, as Williams was the one guy who had stood by Woods. But maybe Woods just needed for everything to start all over, wipe every slate clean.

Again, I’m not defending Woods’ actions. They were creepy. This is just to say that he has paid.

Williams is a caddie who made millions of dollars. That ain’t bad.

Williams apologized after making his statement, but told FOXSports.com the other day that he thought the whole thing was “blown out of proportion.’’

Actually, it was his statement that was out of proportion.

Now, Scott is going to have a hard time carrying Williams along, though he said he won’t fire him. The PGA Tour has decided not to penalize Williams in any way.

And Woods and Williams are in the same event in Australia this week, where officials said they plan to keep the two away from each other.

In fact, they already bumped into each other. And Woods has chosen to publicly forgive Williams.

“We met face to face and talked about it, talked it through,’’ Woods said. “He did apologize. It was hurtful, certainly, but life goes forward.’’

There has been enough suffering. Maybe Woods knows that better than anyone.