WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?

Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, in his annual pre-Masters press conference voiced strong disapproval of Tiger Woods and his scandal-generating behavior. Though that’s the substance of the story whizzing around the Internet and permeating talk television by some who revel for another chance to rehash the details of Woods’ behavior (the nudge-nudge-giggle-smirk crowd) and some who need to rationalize it (the “boys will be boys” and “it’s all in the past” bunch), it is not the most important story.

What overshadows it is a simple obvious fact; Payne had the courage to speak out.

Payne stood up saying decent people were offended, angry at the betrayal of someone promoted as a role model for children and that he was hopeful Woods had learned his lesson with the professed reform of his behavior becoming a fact.

Good for Payne and good for Augusta National.

He could have mouthed a few platitudes and let it go at that. Confronting what has transpired was not the easy way to handle the situation.

Meanwhile, Nike released its’ latest broadcast commercial featuring Woods. In the 30-second black and white ad the world’s number one stands mute and unsmiling in front of the camera with a voiceover from his father. The key line from Earl Woods’ monologue has to be, “Did you learn anything?”

You will recall Nike was one of the few companies to not fire Woods after the news of his extramarital affairs became public. Nike stood by him, probably rationalizing this will all blow over and his value as an endorser will return. The wisdom of that decision remains to be seen.

WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?