Skip to main content

For Tiger, winning does take care of everything

By Roxanne Jones, Special to CNN
March 27, 2013 -- Updated 1406 GMT (2206 HKT)
Tiger Woods regains the <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/25/sport/golf/golf-woods-world-number-one-again/index.html'>No. 1 spot in world golf rankings</a> with a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Monday, March 25. Here, he plays a shot at the tournament in Orlando on Sunday, March 24. Check out what Woods has been up to since the last time he was the top-ranked golfer nearly 2½ years ago: Tiger Woods regains the No. 1 spot in world golf rankings with a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Monday, March 25. Here, he plays a shot at the tournament in Orlando on Sunday, March 24. Check out what Woods has been up to since the last time he was the top-ranked golfer nearly 2½ years ago:
HIDE CAPTION
Tiger Woods: From highs to lows
Tiger Woods: From highs to lows
Tiger Woods: From highs to lows
Tiger Woods: From highs to lows
Tiger Woods: From highs to lows
Tiger Woods: From highs to lows
Tiger Woods: From highs to lows
Tiger Woods: From highs to lows
Tiger Woods: From highs to lows
Tiger Woods: From highs to lows
Tiger Woods: From highs to lows
Tiger Woods: From highs to lows
Tiger Woods: From highs to lows
Tiger Woods: From highs to lows
Tiger Woods: From highs to lows
Tiger Woods: From highs to lows
Tiger Woods: From highs to lows
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nike's new ad about Tiger Woods proclaims "winning takes care of everything"
  • Roxanne Jones: We criticized Woods for his infidelity, but he never cheated his sport
  • She says in the world of competitive sports you are only as good as your last big win
  • Jones: For me, nothing is better than someone who can get back up after a knockout

Editor's note: Roxanne Jones is a founding editor of ESPN The Magazine and a former vice president at ESPN. She is a national lecturer on sports, entertainment and women's topics and a recipient of the 2010 Woman of the Year award from Women in Sports and Events. She is the co-author of "Say It Loud: An Illustrated History of the Black Athlete," (Random House) and CEO of Push Media Strategies.

(CNN) -- I'm not mad at Tiger Woods, or Nike.

Those people who are up-in-arms that Woods has climbed back to his standing as the world's No. 1 golfer and that he is no longer asking for our forgiveness are hypocrites.

"Winning Takes Care of Everything," proclaims his most recent Nike ad, as a focused Tiger crouches in the background. When I first saw the ad, I thought: Wow, bold move by Nike. It's an in-your-face, unapologetic statement.

Roxanne Jones
Roxanne Jones

Back in 2009, when Woods took his public plunge into disgrace by cheating on his wife with a long list of silicone-enhanced beauties, we criticized him for being a fake. We said he'd lied not only to his wife but also to his adoring public, who apparently thought he was a near-God. We said he was the role model for our kids.

But I never thought it was Tiger's job to teach my son how to be a responsible, loving husband or father. That's a job for parents. Of course, I'm not excusing his behavior, but I am not his judge. His wife and family -- and Tiger himself -- really were the only ones hurt by his actions.

Become a fan of CNNOpinion
Stay up to date on the latest opinion, analysis and conversations through social media. Join us at Facebook/CNNOpinion and follow us @CNNOpinion on Twitter. We welcome your ideas and comments.



Well, now Tiger is being real. He's being honest with the public. We should be happy. He's finally speaking his mind so there can be no question of what type of man he is today. And I say, good for him.

Does winning really take care of everything in Woods' life?

Winning solves everything for Tiger?
Tiger, Palmer, Trevino fight thieves

And good for Nike for standing by him through what was in the end just a personal flaw. It's not like he's Lance Armstrong, who used enhancement drugs throughout his career and sabotaged an entire sport for years. Woods did not have to give back his championships because he cheated his sport, his fans or his sponsors.

Don't be mad at Tiger. It was never him we were disappointed in anyway. It was the cheating boyfriend or spouse who broke our hearts and split up our families. Be mad at the problems in your own personal life. Or, be mad at yourself. I know when I've screwed up, if I'm honest, the first person to be upset with is myself. Tiger has nothing to do with my life or relationships.

The Nike ad may be offensive to those who don't quite understand sports culture, or work in extremely competitive environments such as sales, or Wall Street, and even politics. But in those worlds, nothing could be truer than "winning takes care of everything." In those worlds you are only as good as your last big win.

Photos: Redemption through sports

How many times have we said to ourselves at work: "I can turn my career around with one success on my next project?" Or, "One win will make my bosses happy and all will be forgotten?" How many of us say to our kids who play sports: "Hang in there. All you need is one game-winning goal and that will change everything. Everyone will forget you haven't scored all season."

Winning does change things. Just think of Super Bowl Champion Ray Lewis, who the NFL calls one of the best men to ever play the game. Or former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, who was a king for a decade, surviving numerous scandals until he was forced to resign amid NCAA rules sanctions. Tressel then went on to work for the NFL. Why? Because he knows how to win.

Does anyone think Joe Paterno would have lasted so long at Penn State among the allegations of child sex abuse if the football program was down-and-out? No, sadly, it was the winning and the big money that kept Paterno and others safe. Heck, even Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton reclaimed their status as kingmakers after personal disgraces.

We are a forgiving nation. For me, nothing is better than someone who can get back up and succeed after a bloody knockout. Tiger got back up. And I hope this time around he can relax, be himself and enjoy the game.

Follow @CNNOpinion on Twitter.

Join us at Facebook/CNNOpinion.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Roxanne Jones.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1235 GMT (2035 HKT)
Frida Ghitis: Anger over MH17 is growing against pro-Russia separatists. It's time for the Dutch government to lead, she writes
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1227 GMT (2027 HKT)
Julian Zelizer says President Obama called inequality the "defining challenge" of our time but hasn't followed through.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1157 GMT (1957 HKT)
Gene Seymour says the 'Rockford Files' actor worked the persona of the principled coward, charming audiences on big and small screen for generations
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1417 GMT (2217 HKT)
Daniel Treisman says that when the Russian leader tied his fate to the Ukraine separatists, he set the stage for his current risky predicament
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1642 GMT (0042 HKT)
Andrew Kuchins says urgent diplomacy -- not sanctions -- is needed to de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine that helped lead to the downing of an airliner there.
July 19, 2014 -- Updated 0150 GMT (0950 HKT)
Jim Hall and Peter Goelz say there should be an immediate and thorough investigation into what happened to MH17.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1507 GMT (2307 HKT)
Pilot Bill Palmer says main defense commercial jets have against missiles is to avoid flying over conflict areas.
July 20, 2014 -- Updated 1755 GMT (0155 HKT)
Valerie Jarrett says that working women should not be discriminated against because they are pregnant.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1953 GMT (0353 HKT)
David Wheeler says the next time you get a difficult customer representative, think about recording the call.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1933 GMT (0333 HKT)
Newt Gingrich says the more dangerous the world becomes the more Obama hides in a fantasy world.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1011 GMT (1811 HKT)
Michael Desch: It's hard to see why anyone, including Russia and its local allies, would have intentionally targeted the Malaysian Airlines flight
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1914 GMT (0314 HKT)
LZ Granderson says we must remember our visceral horror at the news of children killed in an airstrike on a Gaza beach next time our politicians talk of war
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Sally Kohn says now the House GOP wants to sue Obama for not implementing a law fast enough, a law they voted down 50 times, all reason has left the room.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1214 GMT (2014 HKT)
A street sign for Wall Street
Sens. Elizabeth Warren, John McCain and others want to scale back the "too big to fail" banks that put us at risk of another financial collapse.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 2016 GMT (0416 HKT)
Newt Gingrich writes an open letter to Robert McDonald, the nominee to head the Veterans Administration.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1601 GMT (0001 HKT)
Paul Begala says Dick Cheney has caused an inordinate amount of damage yet continues in a relentless effort to revise the history of his failures.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1404 GMT (2204 HKT)
Kids who takes cell phones to bed are not sleeping, says Mel Robbins. Make them park their phones with the parents at night.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1729 GMT (0129 HKT)
Buzz Aldrin looked at planet Earth as he stood on talcum-like lunar dust 45 years ago. He thinks the next frontier should be Mars.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1804 GMT (0204 HKT)
Mark Zeller never thought my Afghan translator would save his life by killing two Taliban fighters who were about to kill him. The Taliban retaliated by placing him on the top of its kill list.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1518 GMT (2318 HKT)
Jeff Yang says an all-white cast of Asian characters in cartoonish costumes is racially offensive.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 0124 GMT (0924 HKT)
Gary Ginsberg says the late John F. Kennedy Jr.'s reaction to an event in 1995 summed up his character
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1641 GMT (0041 HKT)
Meg Urry says most falling space debris lands on the planet harmlessly and with no witnesses.
ADVERTISEMENT