Wednesday, April 12, 2006

It's not always what you say, but why you said it

Tiger Woods is in trouble for using a four-letter word word starting with "s." But it's not what you think.

"I was so in control from tee to green, the best I've played for years ... But as soon as I got on the green I was a spaz."

That's offended the cerebral palsy community ... not that they're complaining. But their advocates are.

"I would think that anybody in the disability community would see it as offensive," says Babs Johnson of National ADAPT, America's largest disability rights organization. "It would be looked upon as someone having a fit or seizure or something like that. Body movements that you're not able to control."

Doesn't intent matter anymore? Woods is about as measured and controlled an athlete as you'll find. He goes out of his way not to offend (particularly his sponsors). Does anyone really think he meant to bash the disabled?

I can see CP victims -- I'm sorry, people with CP -- not liking the word much. But instead of being offended, why not a gentle correction?

Better yet, why is an organization like ADAPT obsessing over what some golfer said? Maybe they should direct all their energies to finding a cure.

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