Tiger Woods' Tampon Prank Draws Ire

Tiger Woods drew criticism for pulling a prank on the putting green. The 15-time major champion stepped up his snark for the Genesis Open at the Riviera Country Club. In response to outdriving fellow golfer Justin Thomas on the ninth hole on Feb. 16, Woods presented Thomas with a Tampon. Thomas was seen smiling as Woods held onto his shoulder and laughed as he took the feminine product. "If anyone tries to cancel Tiger over this we riot. It's funny," golf influencer Paige Spiranac wrote on Twitter. Others didn't find the joke so humorous. Kara Sugar, the CEO of the Women's Global Empowerment Fund, said Woods' gag was "misogynistic," "tone-deaf," and "straight-up disrespectful to women and girls all over the world," according to TMZ.

Further, she wondered if Woods meant to imply that "periods are embarrassing or shameful or a sign of weakness?" Based in Denver, Colorado, the non-profit organization fights gender inequality through economic, social, and political programs. The 47-year-old Woods has a 15-year-old daughter, Sam, and the group said the "joke" sets a bad example for her and distracts from how women and female athletes cope with their periods. "Imagine being this fragile," ESPN's Sarah Spain tweeted prior to replying to a comment with, "What's the joke? Can you explain it?" In an apology following his second round on Friday, Woods explained that it wasn't meant to be sexist.

"It was supposed to be all fun and games and obviously, it hasn't turned out that way," Woods said. "If I offended anybody, it was not the case, it was just friends having fun. "If I offended anybody in any way, shape, or form, I'm sorry. It was not intended to be that way. It was just, we play pranks on one another all the time and virally, I think this did not come across that way but between us, it was — it's different." The apology wasn't enough for Olympic sprinting legend Michael Johnson, who took to Twitter to blast Woods for his statement. "Apology starting with 'If I offended anyone' is no apology," Johnson wrote in a tweet. "But this is Tiger. Never been a leader, and he's Teflon. Still heralded after all the mistakes so he's learned nothing. Media focus always on miraculous recovery. Never why the need for recovery."