Although I did not have a vote on the decision to boycott the Tiger Woods event today, I am proud to say I did vote for the board members who did. They made the right call in boycotting the announcement.
Not that the public will need any help in learning what Woods has to say. It will be hard not to hear it. It will be on just about every outlet imaginable, a scope of coverage not seen outside a major disaster. I'm trying to figure out who WON'T carry it. Maybe the Food Network and QVC?
The Golf Writers Association of America did, though, make a stand on principle. The writers have been very good to Woods all these years. He has even joked that the writing can get kind of "flowery." We always have understood the demands on him and interest in him and have been very compliant in dealing with the very structured access he and his management team have allowed. When he had a news conference, we showed up. When it wasn't his day to talk, we didn't bother him. We definitely didn't track him away from the course, which is now a story in itself in light of the bizarre nature of his life.
But this was just too much. Woods' people thought we'd jump on the crumbs they were tossing us: Three pool reporters and no access. Come on.
As Vartan Kupelian, the GWAA president, so appropriately put it, "To limit the ability of journalists to attend, listen, see and question Woods goes against the grain of everything we believe.”
Amen to that. It is doubtful that Woods' team regrets the ham-handed offer to the GWAA, which really was no offer at all. But the message is clear: the game has changed.