Monday, November 30, 2009

Tiger's Tale

Tiger Woods isn't talking, and some say that's his right.

I disagree--to a point. Let me explain.

Whatever happened chez Tiger is between him and his wife. Period. The rest of us have no business poking our noses into Tiger's lair. The mere fact that he's a millionaire celebrity doesn't mean he--any more than you or I--owe the rest of the world any more detail about his private life than he cares to share.

But. The traffic accident didn't occur on private property. It happened on a public roadway, and it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to conclude that when Woods got into that Cadillac, he was either already injured or, at the very least, in an unsafe emotional state. I don't know about you, but I want anybody piloting a deadly weapon to be possessed of all his faculties.

The moment Woods backed onto the street, the rules changed. His expectation of privacy went out the window. When you get behind the wheel in your own driveway, you're still in your castle. When you hit the street, you're on our road, and the people have a right to some answers. The fact that the only victims were a tree and a fire hydrant doesn't change this reality: Tiger Woods, based on the sparse facts we have available, was in no condition to operate a motor vehicle safely.

I don't take this position lightly. I think we, as a society, spend way too much time engaged in salacious voyeurism. I deplore the celebrity-fixated tabloid culture. But I also don't think anybody should get a pass because of who they are, and unsafe driving is unsafe driving, no matter who's doing it.

We don't need dishy details. All Woods has to do (assuming this is what happened) is tell the Florida Highway Patrol, "We had an argument, and I was upset." The troopers can then decide if that merits a charge of impaired driving.

End of discussion.

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