Male athletes not only guilty party in cases of infidelity



Column by Wesley Robinson

The scintillating circus surrounding Tiger Woods may be subsiding after finally returning to golf since the scandal broke around Thanksgiving.

Mistresses may keep coming out of the woodwork, but now that Tiger has gotten back on the course, it will be a lot easier for his play to speak for itself and the questions to go back to golf.

That said, it isn’t quite time for this situation to stop being discussed. At least from the infidelity standpoint.

I literally have lost track of how many women Tiger had extramarital affairs with, but I’m pretty sure the number is fairly high. And while Tiger should not be admonished of any blame for what he has done, it needs to be made clear that he was not alone in what he did.

The women he was with knew he was a married man and yet they chose to engage in the affairs willingly. Whenever a story like this breaks, many people come out talking about how they have problems with male athletes and the way they womanize. But if no one was giving the athletes what they want, there wouldn’t be any problem.

So, in this case, it’s easy to blame Tiger, but there wouldn’t be sexually explicit texts being sent back and forth if there weren’t a receptive second party.

I’m not here to support the age-old “it’s in a man’s nature to want more than one woman” argument. Tiger made terrible decisions that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

My problem is, every time an athlete winds up in one of these situations, how often is the woman vilified as extensively as the male athlete? Or, better yet, what lessons are learned from these types of stories?

Last December, I read a column by national columnist Mike Freeman addressing the impact Steve McNair’s death had on NFL players. McNair was killed by a woman he was having an affair with, something that hit home with many players. Why wouldn’t the death of a former colleague make an individual think more than twice about cheating?

Through some intrepid reporting and unnamed sourcing, Freeman found most of the NFL players were not affected by the death of McNair and after initially breaking off affairs, they went back to their old behavior.

Why? The sad fact is we in a society where there are escort services that facilitate these situations and enablers who jump at an opportunity to be with an athlete, musician, politician which makes sure situations like this continue.

Obviously athletes have to make better decisions, but at what point does society step in and stop this type of behavior from happening?

The Tiger Woods scandal should be a cautionary tale for those who seek a certain type of lifestyle, but it isn’t. Because whenever something like this happens, the proper lessons aren’t taught.

The mistresses are able to pedal their stories into discrete monthly payments to keep their mouths shut, or they are able to gain from tabloids and book deals that explain what they did, how they did it and how terrible the other person is.

Meanwhile, the more famous cheater takes the brunt of the public’s outcry through being exposed, subsequent apologies and then returning to whatever it is that makes them famous.

So Rachel Uchitel, Joslyn James and the A(ffair)-Team get their 15 minutes, while Tiger has to reinvent himself. And there’s nothing wrong with Tiger being forced to be better, but the other part of the equation, where the women continue to gravy train the situation, just isn’t right.

Like my fellow columnist Austin Schmitt, I’m glad to see Tiger back golfing, but I hope out of all of this people remember that for one person to engage in infidelity, there is another party helping make that a reality.