While writing in the Guardian, former NBA player Etan Thomas denigrated Tiger Woods’ great comeback Masters win as a hollow victory because Tiger is not a social justice warrior.
The former Washington Wizards player took to the pages of the Guardian to exclaim that black people won’t celebrate Tiger’s amazing struggle back to the top of pro golf.
In his April 22 piece, Thomas slammed Woods for his “rejection of our community, like OJ Simpson before him,” and insisted that the rejection “comes with a price.”
“Black people can and do revel in the meaning of his extraordinary triumph, but we’re not cheering him,” the 2000 number one draft pick wrote.
Thomas did allow that Tiger’s achievement was stirring. “You may not have a pulse if you didn’t feel at least a little warm inside as Tiger passionately embraced his son behind the 18th green,” he wrote.
Indeed, the win was even sweeter because of racism, Thomas insisted.
“Couple that with the fact that it happened at the Masters on a course that was literally built on the grounds of a slave plantation,” Thomas opined, “one that no black golfer had ever even competed on until Lee Elder in 1975, at a club that didn’t even have a black member until 1990.”
Thomas went on to say that Tiger has overcome a lot of “racism” thrown at him by the mainstream media that “built Tiger up as a golf Superman only to tear him down almost gleefully as they discovered his kryptonite.”
But despite all that, Tiger’s win is hollow, as far as Thomas is concerned, “because there’s another aspect to the story lurking around the corner to meet me.”
That is because Tiger isn’t woke enough and he dared to golf with President Trump:
The fact that Tiger has stood unapologetically alongside Donald Trump is particularly troubling to me. Now let me say I have absolutely no problem with Woods voicing a political opinion that differs from mine. I’m not a person who wants to silence anyone who has an opinion or supports a position that I don’t agree with, and attempt to discredit them, demean them or personally attack them in any way shape or form. Just as I applaud LeBron James and Steph Curry and the entire Golden State Warriors under head coach Steve Kerr for taking the stance that they didn’t want to attend the White House after their NBA championship because their politics didn’t align with Trump’s, I also have to support somebody like Tom Brady’s choice to not want to attend when President Obama was in office because that’s his right, even if I don’t agree with it. If I don’t, I fall into the same category of a Laura Ingraham, who told LeBron and Kevin Durant to shut up and dribble simply because their opinion differs from hers.
Despite the lie to his proclamation, Thomas insisted that golfing with Trump means “you align yourself ” with Trump’s evil act of being “a white supremacist or a supporter of white supremacy and white nationalism.”
Despite the fact that there is no actual evidence of Trump ever supporting white nationalism or saying anything close to supporting such.
Thomas blathered on:
When you boast about being longtime friends with Trump, when you accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom that he is giving you at least in part because of your professed allegiance to him, you are in fact choosing a side. Trump has a well-documented history of looking to inject himself into the national discourse and praise the people, especially the black people, who publicly praise him. So Trump will publicly support Jim Brown and Kanye West and Steve Harvey and Ray Lewis and Tiger Woods because they have publicly kissed the ring. He will use them each as his Black Friend who agrees with him and supports him and loves him (a thing I still can’t believe Jim Brown actually said).
With Tiger “aligning” himself with Trump — even though Tiger has really done no such thing — Thomas feels that Tiger is excusing “the horrific ways in which black people were being treated in America.”
Thomas then had an answer for those who wonder why every last black athlete has to be a wild-eyed social justice warrior or risk being rejected by right-thinking blacks.
Thomas insisted that radical black activist Dr. Harry Edwards had the right answer to that question. Thomas quoted Edwards as saying:
Nobody asks Larry Bird to stand up for all poor white people in French Lick, Indiana. So why should I be obligated to move away from everything I have worked for and be asked to make this tremendous sacrifice and stand up for all black people in America. That’s a legitimate question. Now, what’s equally legitimate is, if you decide not to do that, there’s a price to be paid for it, and black people have every right to collect that cost.
It goes back to an old saying, what does a man gain who wins the world but loses his soul? Black folks know that, they feel that. And even though they cheered when OJ beat the rap on those two murders, they weren’t cheering for OJ
To Thomas, that means you can cheer Tiger, but since Tiger is not a screaming social justice warrior, his success does nothing for blacks.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.