President Donald Trump awarded Tiger Woods a Presidential Medal of Freedom on May 6th for his transformation of golf in the face of injury.
What We Know…
- The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor. Woods is the fourth golfer to receive this award, joining Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Charlie Sifford.
- This award comes just after Woods’s comeback victory at the Masters tournament in April. Trump called Woods a “true legend,” a “great person,” and a “great guy” when awarding him the Medal.
- The White House has explained that this honor is meant to award individuals who have made “meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States,” with regards to public, cultural, private, or peaceful endeavors. The president alone can decide who is awarded the medal.
- Questions have been raised about Trump’s decision to award Woods, given that he has designed the golf course at Trump World in Dubai and Woods’s relatively few victories since 2013.
- The Baltimore accused Woods of “embracing” Trump by accepting the award. Trump’s senior campaign advisor Lara Trump defended Woods on Fox News saying this controversy is an unfortunate distraction from Woods’ achievements.
- Woods has long been a controversial figure since his 2009 sex scandal involving a domestic fight confirming Woods had mistresses and public episodes attracting media attention while noting an alleged sex addiction.
Some critics suggest Woods should have declined the medal as a political commentary.