Beat em' when they're down and beat em' again for good measure before they can get up. The beat down supposedly is not the American way of dealing with those who are down. The ground rules radically changed the moment Tiger Woods did life threatening damage to a tree and a fire hydrant. With that the beat down started with a vengeance. No matter that the only body damage done was to Woods. There was no allegation or hint of drugs or alcohol. No matter that the law did not compel Woods to talk to police just to provide his license, registration and proof on insurance. No matter that he publicly accepted responsibility for whatever damage he caused, called the gossip "malicious," and pleaded for the media and public to respect his privacy.
None of this has mattered. It's irrelevant not because a sex, celebrity gossip, rumor and innuendo starved and obsessed mainstream media salivates at the prospect of scandal and titillation at the mishaps of celebrities. Nor have Woods' pleadings that the accident is a non-issue been sloughed off because he is one of the sports world's most bankable, best known noblesse oblige goody two shoes role model for the sporting world.
The truth is that the Tiger Woods beatdown began ages ago. The whispers, innuendoes, and back biting began the instant that he exploded on the golf scene. He wasn't black enough. He was too black. He was too arrogant. He was too aloof. He was too selfish. The more green Masters Tournament winners jackets that he donned and world class tournaments he won, and the fatter his bank account grew, the undertow of carping about him continued unabated. There have even been personal and race tinged digs and cracks that golfer Fuzzy Zoeller ("fried chicken") and Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman ("lynch him") made about him.
Woods graciously and diplomatically shrugged off the inanities and kept doing what he does best and that's win tournaments. It didn't stop the gossip mongers. Woods was simply too big, too good, and too rich for the tastes of a wide swath of the public and the celebrity crazed media.