Tiger Woods and Garth Brooks at Obama Inauguration
The normally reticent Tiger Woods and the all-but-retired Garth Brooks will be featured in Barack Obama’s apparently-starting-early inauguration.
Tiger Woods, who has tried to stay out of politics during his ascent to become one of the world’s most famous athletes, has accepted an invitation to speak at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday as part of President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration festivities.
Woods posted a short statement on his Web site to say he would speak at “We Are One,” a concert and celebration that will be broadcast live on HBO and feature entertainers such as Beyonce, U2, Stevie Wonder and Garth Brooks, along with appearances by Denzel Washington and Martin Luther King III.
Woods rarely gets involved in political discussions and festivities. He was criticized in 1997 after his watershed victory at The Masters, when he turned down an invitation from former President Bill Clinton to travel to Shea Stadium in New York to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier.
After Obama’s landslide victory, Woods said on CNBC he had been hopeful that a black man would be elected president in his lifetime. “I think it’s absolutely incredible,” he told the cable network. “He represents America. He’s multiracial. I was hoping it would happen in my lifetime. My father was hoping it would happen in his lifetime, but he didn’t get to see it. I’m lucky enough to have seen a person of color in the White House.”
In fairness to Tiger, he’s not only 12 years older now but also recovering from an injury; in 1997, he likely had a Major for which to prepare himself. And, for that matter, commemorating an event that took place decades before you were born and now seems so unremarkable is a different thing than experiencing living history.