After a reporter tried everything to get golf superstar Tiger Woods to criticize President Donald Trump, an ESPN host got angry when Woods simply said “you have to respect the office.”
Debating the issue on ESPN’s “First Take,” co-host Max Kellerman told Stephen A. Smith that Woods’ comments were “stupid” and insulted the intelligence of those who heard them.
“It is a thoughtless statement dressed up as a thoughtful statement,” Kellerman said. “And it either holds in contempt the intelligence of people who hear it or else it’s just a stupid thing to say.”
What did Tiger say?
After a golf tournament Sunday, a reporter asked Woods multiple questions about his relationship with Trump and his thoughts on the president’s policies.
Woods, who has a friendly relationship with Trump, refused to entertain the questions, which carried heavy racial themes.
“Well, he’s the president of the United States and you have to respect the office,” Woods said. “No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike the personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.”
Why did that make Kellerman angry?
Here are more Kellerman’s comments toward Woods:
“I want to say something about what Tiger Woods said now. It really bothers me. I’m angry at what Tiger Woods said. It is a thoughtless statement dressed up as a thoughtful statement. And it either holds in contempt the intelligence of people who hear it or else it’s just a stupid thing to say. … To say you must have respect for the office — Tiger, be clear. Are you saying that the office, therefore, confers respect on to its present temporary occupant? No. Having respect for the office means principally, in my view, is the office holder should have respect for the office.”
“We are held to a standard of behavior, we at our jobs, right, people in their daily lives. The president, if anything, is held to a higher standard of behavior. It is not such that we have such great respect for the office that no matter what the behavior of its occupant, we must respect the occupant because of the office. No. Tiger Woods … is being slick. We must respect the office therefore that confers respect to the occupant. Tiger, is that is what you are saying? If that is what you are saying, that is a stupid comment.”
Below is a video of the exchange between Kellerman and his co-host Smith, who has, in the past, criticized Woods for embracing his multi-ethnic identity rather than identifying as “black.”