Somach: Tiger Woods Charles Barkley Double Standard

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:
Jan/11/2010

Why is Tiger Woods chopped but Charles Barkley boosted?  Are there double standards at play here?

Is there a double standard for judging two of America's most famous athletic figures?

Looks like!

Tiger Woods has never been arrested, charged, tried, convicted or sentenced for any crime.

But when he's caught cheating on his wife, he's immediately villified--branded a cad, an idiot, a laughingstock and worse.

He loses many of his lucrative commercial endorsements, not just in the USA but around the world, withdraws from golf and remains in seclusion.

And his public approval rating has dropped so far there's no guarantee he'll ever golf professionally again.

In a nutshell, if Wood's career isn't over, it's taken a head shot and is on life support.

Meanwhile, another American athletic icon, former NBA player Charles Barkley, has done much worse things than Woods and it only increase's Barkley's popularity with the masses.

Barkley cheated on his wife. The most recent incident we know of was a year or two ago when Barkley was arrested in Arizona for trying to pick up a prostitute on the street for oral sex.

Barkley's was also recently arrested for DUI and had to serve a few weeks in a sweltering tent prison in the Arizona desert, an experience he laughed about later on The Late Show With David Letterman.

Most famously, while an NBA player, Barkley once spit in the face of a little girl attending a game.

He also once threw a fan though a plate-glass window at a nightclub.

He's also a self-confessed degenerate gambler, admitting to losing more than $20 million in his life betting on sports, including a losing $1 million dollar bet on a recent Super Bowl.

His comments frequently get him in trouble too.

Once, responding to a remark made by a reporter, Barkley bellowed:

"That's why I hate all white people!"

Can you imagine a white athlete in today's day and age--or a white politician or white actor or white anything for that matter--saying, "That's why I hate all black people!"

That white athlete or pol or actor or whover would be immediately forced to apologize and would likely lose his reputation if not his job (please see Al Campanis, Jimmy the Greek, Michael Richards, et al).

But when Barkley said that, and other equally offensive things, and did equally offensive things, not only did it not hurt his image in the public's eye, it enhanced it.

Barkley does lots of commercial endorsements and he has for a long time.

He's never been booted by an endorser for any of his antics.

In fact, his popularity remains so high that he is often mentioned--seriously--as a candidate for Governor in his home state of Alabama.

And just last week he hosted the American late-night comedy show "Saturday Night Live."

Hours earlier, he appeared on NBC's pre-game show for the NFL playoffs.

He also appears regularly on cable television as an in-studio analyst for NBA games, and once had his own talk show.

So why did Tiger Woods' discretions earn him the taboo label while Charles Barkley's discretions--which are more and worse--get him the thumbs up tag?

Is there some kind of double standard at work here?

Does a bear do you know what, you know where?

Let's examine the issues:

First, Barkley, in general, is palsy walsy with reporters.

At least most of them.

He's accessible, candid, interesting, outspoken, funny and always gives a great interview, whether in print, radio or TV.

Reporters love that because it's all they need to do their jobs and so they love Barkley for it.

Woods, on the other hand, had (it's now much worse of course) what could be defined as a prickly relationship with reporters.

He didn't care much for them and they didn't care much for him.

But they were all professionals, and since the game needs the coverage and the coverage needs the game, as one long-ago sports editor used to say, Woods and the media engaged when necessary.

But Woods was usually guarded, rarely open, infrequently funny and most times just plain dull.

The media didn't like that because it made their jobs harder and took it out on him when his personal troubles later surfaced.

Second, while Woods presents himself as a dedicated family man and a role model for youth, Barkely does no such thing.

In fact, a few years back, Barkley famously made a TV commercial in which he intoned: "I am not a role model," and told kids that their parents should be their role models, not some athlete they don't even know.

Woods, meanwhile, among other things, posed for the now-famous "family man" portrait showing him, his wife, his two kids and his dog licking his face ("Leave it to Beaver" 21st Century-style?) and told a New Zealand TV interviewer "Always!" when asked if family comes before golf.

So it appears the double standard was caused by a double reason: popularity and hypocrisy.

Barkley is popular with the media, Woods not so much.

Woods, however, is a hypocrite--he pretends to be a solid family man so he can reap millions in dollars in endorsements from companies that want stable endorsers.

Meanwhile, behind his wife's back, he's banging every cocktail waitress, casino hostess and whore in Nevada.

Barkley isn't a hypocrite.

He says he's no role model, then goes out and proves it.

And America loves him for it!

By Tom Somach

Gambling911.com Staff Writer

tomsomach@yahoo.com

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