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Tiger deflects Jim Brown's critcism

June 30, 2009

Football legend Jim Brown recently was interviewed on the HBO show "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" and criticized Tiger Woods for his lack of social activism.

"You know what's so interesting about Tiger to me?" Brown said. "He is a killer, he will run over you, he will kick your (bleep). But as an individual for social change? Terrible. Terrible. Because he can get away with teaching kids to play golf, and that's his contribution. In the real world, I can't teach kids to play golf and that's my contribution, if I've got that kind of power."

Woods was asked about Brown's criticism at his news conference Tuesday in advance of the AT&T National that he is hosting at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.

"I think I do a pretty good job as it is what we're trying to do with the (Tiger Woods) Foundation," Woods said. "We have this event here (The AT&T National), the Chevron World Challenge, our (Tiger) Jam in Vegas and our Block Party in Orange County. What we're trying to do (is) not just here in United States, but what my mom's doing in Thailand.

"I want to not just do it, but do it right. And that takes time. And you have to understand, you just don't jump into something. You want to do it right. You want to have a plan, and I think what we've done so far has been very good, very efficient and it's helped a lot of kids, and taught a lot of kids how to get back and learn, learn how to lead, learn how to give back. Learn how to teach others, have confidence in themselves to be able to do all these different things, and have these attributes going forward. That takes time. And I think we've done it right."

Woods said his foundation has helped 10 million kids since its inception in 1996. "I think that's a pretty good stat so far, and we're going to obviously increase that, especially on a global basis. This is a foundation that's not going to be here for just the short term. We're here for the long haul. We're trying to help as many kids as we possibly can, but do it right. That's one of the reasons why we've taken our time expanding and growing because we don't want to make mistakes. We want to help these kids the best way we possibly can and be with them and stay with them."

Woods might have added, but didn't, the manner in which he has led by example -- as a father devoted to his family and as a son who speaks incessantly about his own father's substantial role in his life and how it has contributed to his success. To boot, his has been a scandal-free career, which puts him at least one-up on a substantial contingent of professional athletes, past and present.

-- John Strege