The Next Tiger is coming.


The U.S. Open at Pinehurst, N.C. is underway.  Tiger Woods is among the early leaders this morning.  Mr. Woods, having already won the Masters in April, is chasing the Grand Slam...that is, winning all four majors in one year.  This is just one of the storylines sportswriters have been busy with this week.

Other columns have spent time predicting who will do well (Woods, Mickelson, Goosen) on this very difficult course —— the greens create the most problems here, not the rough; about the memory of Paine Stewart (who won the event when last played here in 1999 and then, shortly thereafter, died in a plane crash); and about the history of the U.S. Open in general.

And then, there is this:

'Ten years since Tiger's rise, and he's still the only black player on tour' by AP writer Eddie Pellis. 

Mr. Pellis writes that golf was supposed to have changed its image from 'a country—club game, mainly white, mostly rich...' in the months and years following the arrival of Tiger.  But, he laments, it hasn't because,

'10 years later, Woods is the only African—American player among the 156 contending for the U.S. championship. Vijay Singh, the other prominent player on the PGA tour with black skin, is Fijian.'

Of course, Tiger Woods is proud to be a blend of multiple racial heritages, including Thai, Caucasian, and black. 'Cablanasian' is his chosen racial identifier. Calling him 'African—American' is somewhat insulting — and not only to his own wishes and to the other groups which together comprise a majority of his genetic background. It is also insulting to African—Americans. In the Old Confederacy, African heritage was considered such a bad thing that the so—called 'one drop rule' was applied to anyone who had one African ancestor somewhere in his background. Pellis adopts this same rule. One drop, or at least one grandparent is all it takes, in his view.

Nowhere in Pellis' article does he mention Kevin Hall.  Who is Kevin Hall?  Hall only won the Big Ten tournament by 11 strokes.  That's right.  Hall plays for the Ohio State Buckeyes and he is black.

You think the fact that he has 'black skin' is something?  You may not think so when you take a closer look.  The real story of Kevin Hall is this: he's deaf.  Now there's a story. 

J. James Estrada   6 16 05