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December 13th, 2009
04:33 PM ET

Tiger Woods vanishing act

He's one of the best known athletes in the country.

Tiger Woods seemed to turn up everywhere, from personal appearances to magazine ads to TV commercials. Now that appears to be changing.

In a statement released Friday, Woods admitted that he has cheated on his wife, and said, quote: "After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf. I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father and person."

Meanwhile Gillette - which has featured woods in ads since 2007 - says it's changing its marketing plans.

Gillette's statement reads in part: "we fully support him stepping back from his professional career and taking the time he needs to do what matters most. We wish him and his family the best. As Tiger takes a break from the public eye, we will support his desire for privacy by limiting his role in our marketing programs."

The developments follow widespread reports of woods' marital infidelity.

Connell Barrett, Editor at Large for Golf Magazine, spoke to CNN's Fredricka Whitfield about what this means for the sport.

Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Theron

    He's the greatest, he's the star of that sport. I think his absence will definitely hurt the sport. He made people tune in to golf, who never paid attention to golf before. I know guys who were just into football and basketball, and only got into golf because of Tiger. They watch golf now, and even play Tiger Wood's videogame for xbox 360.I'm like, is it that serious,because before they would change the channel when golf came on,now they change the channel to see if golf is on.

    Tiger Woods is a legendary individual.His influential skills is off the charts. He definitely influences people to the utmost. The fact that he made people like golf is remarkable. That game is slower than baseball, but he got people paying attention to it. Tiger Woods is like the Jesus Christ of golf.

    December 13, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  2. Mike H

    This is not about Tiger Woods infidelities, there is now talk that he has paid for prostitutes which goes beyond personal. It now goes to what he is doing may not even be legal. Think about it, would you want to sponsor an athlete associated to prostitutes and madam's?

    December 13, 2009 at 7:17 pm |
  3. Julie

    Tiger Woods put himself in the public eye and projected an image of wholeness. Clearly, he is not. He didn't only have an indiscretion, or one long term mistress . . . .rather he had a bevy of cheap women.

    I would NOT purchase any product that endorses him.

    December 13, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  4. Dodie - CA

    The reaction of the public out weighs the circumstance. Tiger did not kill women, he did not beat them up, he did not rape women or molest children. He had poor judgment and numerous indiscretions. He is currently paying the price. How many Americans have had at least one indiscretion in their life time? I bet the statistics would be at least 75%.

    The amount of anger and rage coming from other bloggers strongly indicates they had personal experience with this situation and are ‘stuck’ in their rage. In essence, they are projecting their anger on Tiger from their life experiences.

    I strongly recommend these people obtain therapy as I pity any man; who is currently in a relationship with someone emitting this much anger. ~whew~

    December 13, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  5. Tiffany Monique Quash

    Mr. Woods loses Acenture as a sponsor, but where was everyone when Michael Phelps had a DUI as a minor after the first OLYMPICS (yet it took until he was captured in a pic after his SECOND Olympics to lose sponsors). Where is the fairness? Race is an issue. Wake up America and stop being afraid to address it.

    December 13, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  6. Linda

    For woman his action is degading and unacceptable. Nike will especially be boycotted for them indirectally condoning his behavior

    December 13, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  7. J Plummer

    I imagine we would all appreciate advertisers to pick either deserving charitable organizations and laud them for what they are accomplishing PLUS also consider helping those needing medical care by supporting hospitals in their efforts to cope with their struggles along those lines!

    Surely the advertisers would capture the hearts of their consumers and by seeking such benefitial use of their money would simultaneously support the strife for doing good. – Wonderful example for all of us and our children too!

    Our US society would benefit more if big money would no longer select INDIVIDUALS who already have plenty of money and couldn't use that much in their lifetime (and do not always seem deserving).

    JP, Bellevue, Wa

    December 13, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  8. Errol

    Mr. Cornwell asked the question: "Why do we have a right to inquiry and to invade?" Why? Lets see. Tiger does not play golf in his basement. He depends on the public to come out when her plays and he depends on the public to buy the merchandises he plugs. If the public stop coming out to see him play and stop buying the product he plugs what good is he. He's a public figure. Just like an actor or politician. An actor can give a proformance of a life time but if no one goes to the boxoffice he gave the proformance for nothing and two more of those flops and he become an has-been. The public makes him and so the public has a right to inquiry and invade. I'm sorry Mr. Cornwell Tiger can't have it both way.

    December 13, 2009 at 7:35 pm |
  9. riknlen

    A columnist on a CNN show this morning said that Tiger Woods has simply hurt his family and himself...that's it. Hmmm... my boys who are very avid, accomplished, young golfers have lost faith in their ultimate role model. We've had to explain all the attention about Tiger in the media lately – so 2 innocent boys are questioning faithfulness, infidelity, and integrity along with applying these terms to marriage.
    Unfortunately, the media won't let this issue rest so we are carefully scrutinizing the stations our boys pop through or have turned off tv all together depending on the situation.
    To my family, this is a very sad situation. Tiger has become a billionaire through hard work and success. He became an idol that our kids aspired to behave like so now this becomes confusing to children... at young ages, it's hard to separate his transgressions from who he was thought to be. We continue to discuss morals and values here hoping our boys will understand where to draw the line with their role models. We also hope our boys will understand that role models are people too with personal issues that can be so deep and devastating. We are all simply people when we get right down to it. But hopefully, our boys along with many other children will realize that this behavior was hurtful and not take on this behavior thinking it is ok because Tiger did it.
    Tiger has hurt more than just himself and his family. Hopefully, they can heal given time and privacy. Our boys and many other children have to grow up a little faster once again due to his un-role model like behavior.

    December 13, 2009 at 8:15 pm |
  10. Ms. T.

    Of course, since Tiger is a person of the celebrity status, his life is going 2 B watched. No one, None what so ever has the right 2 judge one another. Those persons that R against him must have not done anything wrong N their lives that they regret. I'm not saying he was right for cheating on his wife, because when I get married I wouldn't want that 2 happen to me. Instead of the world, being N his business & bringing him down, we need to B praying for him and his family.

    December 13, 2009 at 8:26 pm |
  11. w.l. hicks

    Tiger has his own cross to bare, and only to God,self, and family only he has to answer to. "Thank God for that" You the media has forgot aboutthe facts let alone the truth. I hope that Tiger has asked God to forgive his sins And his wife. In this world we live in how easily we forget the good a person has done, Remember to CYA, it would be nice to know whats in the CNN reporters closets,"It aint no fun when the rabbit gets the gun".

    December 13, 2009 at 8:32 pm |
  12. Kat

    If Tiger was an acciuntant of another profession, he would have had to show up for work. He should not have taen time off. The embarrassment is not easy and he would have struggled to concentrate on the field but if only he had come out and admit the adultery before all those roaches crawled out with voicemails and interviews looking for money from the media. Tiger I don't condone aht you did but even when all the women in your life goes, golf will remain. It is what made them want you. It is what made you Tiger. Do not give up. You are not the first or the last to cheat and survive. Bill Clinton had to come out and face the media everyday and he wa sthe president of the United States. You are not of that stature. You can do it too.

    December 13, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  13. Kat

    Tiger if only he had come out and admit the adultery before all those ROACHES crawled out with voicemails and interviews looking for money from the media. I don't condone what you did but even when all the women in your life go, golf will remain. It is what made them want you. It is what made you Tiger. It is what gave you the life that Elin enjoyed and can afford whatever she wants. Do not give up. You are not the first or the last to cheat and survive. Bill Clinton had to come out and face the media everyday and he wa sthe president of the United States. You are not of that stature. You can do it too. An person cheating does not give the other the right to hit them. It is abuse. She will do it again. Tiger, it will not work in the long run. She may stay just for the money. Maybe she will and if so, good but it may not last but golf will. You cannot throw out what your dad gave you!

    December 13, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  14. Kat

    Do not make the mistake that Lionel Richie made! he gave up singing for her and he wa smiserable. he went back and she left him because of insecurities. Don not give it up Tiger. She met you doing it!

    December 13, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  15. Eileen Curras

    I can comprehend that the market is suffering without the presence of Tiger Woods but this family is going thru a crisis and we should give them the space they need. God forbid that anything else happens to this family but the media has not being merciful and I hope that when Mr. Woods comes back he will remember. Seems to me that the Media is aiming their discomfort on behalf of someone in the industry. What does this crisis means to the average Joe.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:54 am |
  16. Dale McClain

    With everything else going on in the world, does the Tiger Woods story really deserve all the press on the morning news. The next thing we see on CNN may be, " I was abducted by an alien. " With this kind of priorities, it's no wonder the world is in such dire straits.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:43 am |
  17. Ronald Jirak

    I would like to know why he was not arrested for obersturction , the ploice want to talk to him and he never did talk. Now if 95 % of ther people did this they would have. The tree might have been on his property and the law cant say anything but the fire hdyratiant is on public property.

    December 14, 2009 at 6:01 am |
  18. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Tigers a reagular Fritz the cat and deffinitly not a role model.

    December 14, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  19. Gunner

    ERROL: you say when |tiger is a spokesman, he needs people to buy those products.....I would say its the other way round...that sponsor better hope things sell, so they can recoupe the money they threw at Tiger....he goes to the bank and plays golf...end of story...products dont sell he still has his money

    December 14, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  20. G. Bond

    I can't believe we are still beating up on this guy! When did we all become judge and jury. The man has lost all things he has worked so hard to accomplish, Granted, I don't condone what he has done but, I feel enough is enough. He has a family and why we feel we need to punish them continuously is beyond my understanding. Leave the man alone. He is down now, let us be better human beings and not to keep kicking him!

    December 14, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  21. Joan

    I became interested in golf after watching Tiger. He is the best and it is always exciting when he plays. I won't be watching golf until Tiger returns. He who is without sin cast the first stone. What goes on in his marriage is between Tiger and his wife. People just but out!


    December 14, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  22. Ron from Oklahoma

    The reason that this story is relevant to the public is because of the endorsements. Tiger has been touted for years as highly moral in all aspects of his life, including his product endorsements. Now, his morals are suspect, at best. Therefore, have these morals been compromised in his business dealings also? If so, everyone who relied on those endorsements has been duped – conned. His endorsements may be no more relevant than any other bought and paid for pitchman/conman. The public has the right to know whether an endorser is conning them or not. If his morals are loose in his marriage, then it is certainly possible that they are just as loose (or more so) in his business dealings too.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  23. Ken Moses

    Is Tiger Woods the only culprit here ? How about all those sweet young things who claim they had an affair with T.W. ? Did someone force these poor innocent lady's into these affairs ? Is it a fact they didn't know T.W was a married man ? All they would have had to say was a resounding NO. Try to remember, it takes two flaky people to make an affair.

    December 15, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  24. Mike H

    There is now talk that he has paid for prostitutes which goes beyond a personal extramarital affair. It now goes to the question of breaking the law and doing soemthing that is criminal. Think about it, would you want to sponsor an athlete associated to prostitutes and madam's and who may have been breaking the law where profits are financing organized crime?

    December 15, 2009 at 7:29 pm |
  25. wade

    all of this suff about tigrs is all made up

    December 16, 2009 at 8:46 pm |
  26. Steven

    Watching Josh Lev's "viral videos" on Saturday (19 Dec.):
    Fredricka said a young boy looked like "Caulay McCaulkin" (I checked it twice). Heck, Macaulay Caulkin doesn't even look like him anymore.
    Also, the drumming serviceman's tattooed arm elicited a comment about his probably having been in a rock band. Maybe "Iraq band?"

    December 19, 2009 at 4:28 pm |