Tiger Woods received backlash after he handed Justin Thomas a tampon upon outdriving him on Thursday.
The 15-time major champion said it was nothing more than a “prank,” and it was “friends having fun.”
However, one writer said that Woods had “employed basic misogyny to insult” Thomas, “replicating an old prank that immature school boys used to think was funny.” Many others thought it was sexist and degrading to women.
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On the contrary, Paige Spiranac, former professional golfer turned social media influencer, is defending the 47-year-old.
“If anyone tries to cancel Tiger over this we riot. It’s funny,” Spiranac tweeted on Thursday.
This is hardly Woods’ first controversy. His biggest came in 2009 when it was revealed he was cheating on his then-wife, Elin Nordegren. That didn’t stop the outcry, though.
But Spirinac, whose self-promotion has garnered criticism for sexualizing women’s golf, put those who are ripping Woods to the test.
TIGER WOODS MAKES CUT AT GENESIS INVITATIONAL, HIS FIRST TOURNAMENT SINCE JULY
“It’s interesting to see women outraged by Tiger slipping JT a tampon after out driving him but those same women will quickly tear me down for how I’ve decided to build my business. You can’t pick and choose when to be a feminist,” Spirinac wrote on Friday.
Woods noted on Friday after his second rounds that the gag had taken a turn.
“It was supposed to be a funny game, but obviously it hasn’t turned out that way,” Woods said. “If I offend anybody, it was not the case. It was just friends having fun.
“If I offend anybody in any way, shape, or form, I’m sorry. It was not intended to be that way. We play pranks on one another all the time. Virally, I think this did not come across that way, but between us, it’s different.”
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Woods and Thomas shared a laugh and have grown close since the latter became a pro. They were paired together during the 2019 Presidents Cup, winning both of their team matches.
Woods made the cut at the Genesis Invitational, his first tournament since The Open Championship July.