Golfing legend Jack Nicklaus is coming to the support of fellow golfing icon Tiger Woods amid backlash for commenting that people should “respect the office” of the presidency.
Tiger Woods was recently asked about his relationship with President Trump and whether he respected him and his decisions in the White House. After finishing 72-holes of golf, a tired Woods refused to say anything disparaging of the president. Carefully, Woods also did not condone or vocalize support for Trump, but simply said people should “respect the office” no matter who is in it – whether they agree with the person or not.
“He’s the president of the United States. You have to respect the office. No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office,” Woods answered.
His careful answer cleared the tall grass of explicit support and flew over the sand pits of an offense; all in the clear, right? No, as the golfing icon was criticized for refusing to criticize Trump.
An ESPN host called Woods’ response a “thoughtless statement dressed up as a thoughtful statement.”
And, “It either holds in contempt the intelligence of people who hear it or else it’s just a stupid thing to say.”
Nicklaus had a much more supportive response, via Fox News Insider: “I thought Tiger handled it very well. No matter who’s president — whether it was Barack Obama or Donald Trump — I think you respect the office, and I’m much in Tiger’s camp on that.”
Jack Nicklaus: “No matter who’s president, whether it was Barack Obama or Donald Trump, I think you respect the office.” pic.twitter.com/qKVlBMzzfr
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 29, 2018
Pro golf legend @jacknicklaus & @FoldsofHonor‘s @MajorDanRooney discuss Patriot Golf Day 2018, aimed at raising money for military families in need. Click to learn more: https://t.co/SM77hqNpqT pic.twitter.com/8tcQ15KuPN
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) August 29, 2018
Nicklaus said that Woods – whose 14 major tournament victories are second to Nicklaus’ all-time mark of 18 – handled the question well and that he agrees with his answer.
Nicklaus endorsed Trump during the 2016 election, telling CBS that he was “awakening the country.” He also discussed Folds of Honor’s Patriot Golf Day, the country’s largest golf fundraiser.
Folds of Honor raises money for the spouses and children of fallen service members.
President Trump also expressed his support for Woods in a tweet, after the blowback.
“The Fake News Media worked hard to get Tiger Woods to say something that he didn’t want to say. Tiger wouldn’t play the game – he is very smart. More importantly, he is playing great golf again!”
The Fake News Media worked hard to get Tiger Woods to say something that he didn’t want to say. Tiger wouldn’t play the game – he is very smart. More importantly, he is playing great golf again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2018