As Tiger Woods attempts his latest comeback attempt at the Genesis Invitational, he does so while being accused of misogyny.
On the ninth hole of the tournament’s opening round Thursday, Woods out-drove Justin Thomas off the tee, 323 yards to 313. After outdriving his playing partner, Woods was seen handing Thomas a tampon, sparking laughter between the two.
Friday afternoon, during The Golf Channel’s coverage of the Genesis Invitational, host Cara Banks and analyst Brandel Chamblee spent about five minutes discussing Woods’ decision to give Thomas a tampon.
Cara Banks and Brandel Chamblee spent a few minutes discussing Tiger’s tampon controversy pic.twitter.com/Flo5k0PzQQ
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) February 17, 2023
“Unfortunately, the narrative hasn’t really been focused on Tiger’s golf today,” Banks noted. “I was offended, to be totally honest with you. As a woman, I was shocked to see that the GOAT of our game, at least the active GOAT, is walking around carrying an intimate feminine hygiene product that we use to stop ourselves bleeding. I have no idea where this kind of premeditated act came from, let alone where he got the tampon from.”
With the joke, the 47-year-old Woods seemingly implied that the 29-year-old Thomas hit the ball like a girl. Many on social media have taken offense to Woods’ attempt at humor. The legendary golfer was accused of misogyny and sexism.
Chamblee, who was previously accused of sexism when he used the remark “b*tch slap” a couple of years ago, called out Woods for being “dumb.” But they cited what he considered “predictable outrage on social media.”
“At best, you can say it was an inelegant and tacky attempt at playfully insulting a friend of his,” Chamblee said. “No doubt, offensive to many and demeaning to others, but I would say some of the predictable outrage on social media attempts to assign the worst possible intent to his actions. Can’t we just say it was ‘dumb’ without further maligning him?”
This was Tiger’s first public round of golf since he missed the cut at the Open Championship last July. It comes just two years after he nearly lost his right leg in a horrific car crash after the 2021 Genesis Invitational. Woods played well on Thursday, finishing the round five strokes off the lead with a 2-under-par 69. But instead of talking about his impressive opening round, Woods’ comeback attempt was marred by his strange decision to walk around with a tampon in his pocket for eight holes to make a preplanned joke.
The level of scrutiny he deserves can be debated. How Tiger conspired to accomplish this joke without recognizing the potential for it to be caught on camera or the impending backlash shows a lapse in judgment at a minimum.
After his round on Friday, Woods apologized to anyone who was offended by him handing Thomas a tampon.
“It was supposed to be fun and games, but obviously it hasn’t turned out that way,” Woods said. “If I offended anybody in any way, shape, or form, I’m sorry.”