By Eduardo García Palacios
Do we have the right to trample on the dignity of someone, to make a very public and wanton spectacle of a person during their most fragile moments? Would you like images of a family member to be broadcast around the world, as they agonise after an accident? Unfortunately, during these current times – which are not simply passing by but flying along in an uncertain direction – we have become accustomed, over breakfast, lunch and dinner, to witnessing exhibitions of the worst atrocities a person can commit against a fellow human being. That we are animals is a fact; that we are also rational is very, very much in doubt.
This preamble has been prompted by the treatment US authorities inflicted on poor Tiger Woods. And I say poor with good reason because, no matter how much financial wealth he has accumulated, what they did to the world’s finest golfer over the past 30 years is shameful.
Enough has been happening lately to the one-time global golfing star without his wretched image being plastered around the international media. Even if it had been due to his drinking alcohol – which tests have reportedly shown it wasn’t – such an image of Tiger (or any other person for that matter) should never be dragged through the mud as US police officers did, presumably with the consent of their political colleagues.
Who really wants to see the former world number one wobbling on his feet and trying to stay upright in the early hours of the morning as police officers film his actions? What value is there in showing these shocking images in order to keep us informed? Apart from pure morbid fascination, that is, the “pleasure” of being able to criticise our fellow man, especially a famous one, even though the poor man is already broken.
The truth is we are quite hypocritical, starting with the media, declaring our horror at the most trifling incident and highlighting all manner of cruelty, at the sacrosanct altar of freedom of information.
If a terrorist slits the throat of your father and the swines broadcast the video… well okay, a close up shot and without pixelating the image. If a bomb dismembers your family… raise the curtain and share the carnage with viewers.
Hopefully nothing happens to us like it did to Tiger, and we can escape the trauma of being exhibited lewdly as if we are a plague-ridden pariah during the modern Inquisition that the mass media and online social networks have become.
Moral impudence aside, the good news recently was – of course – Sergio García’s consecration as the great player he always has been and his sublime achievement in the US Masters at Augusta.
We are seeing – as he himself acknowledged – a new Sergio, more composed, with another mindset that doesn’t cause him to succumb to the fleeting frustrations of competition, especially when it involves such an individualistic sport as golf.
It is wonderful news for Spanish and other local fans that the Castellón hero and his compatriot Jon Rahm – numbers five and 10, respectively, in the world golf rankings – will be competing in the Andalucía Valderrama Masters. This magnificent event, to be held in October at the spectacular Costa del Sol course, will represent Rahm’s professional debut in Spain. A duel between two Spaniards in the top-10 is not something you see every day.