No sooner than Tiger Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill and regained his #1 Ranking on the PGA Tour, Nike came out with a new ad. The ad was a picture of Tiger lining up a putt with the words, “Winning Takes Care of Everything.”
Whether you’re a fan of golf or not, most people know of the troubles Tiger Woods has had over the past several years. Infidelity, adultery, and divorce seemed to take a toll on his golf performance. During this period of time, Tiger dropped from the #1 ranked player on the tour, a position he had previously held for nearly every week spanning the previous decade. Following his win at Bay Hill, Tiger recaptured the #1 ranking, thus prompting Nike’s new ad.
But what are we to make of this message? Does winning really “take care of everything?” Is this ad intended to suggest that winning excuses, justifies, or nullifies his moral failures? While Nike denies that this is the intent of their message, countless pundits don’t know what else to make of the message.
From my perspective, the ad is misleading and irresponsible. Winning doesn’t take care of everything. Oh, winning can “buy” you a lot of things, but it doesn’t repair a damaged marriage. It doesn’t give children their father back. It doesn’t justify outbursts of foul language of the worst kind in the presence of innocent children who look up to him as a hero. And it doesn’t take care of guilt, shame, and harm inflicted upon self and others.
Regardless of what Nike may say, winning doesn’t take care of everything. Validation isn’t regained by winning, but rather by humility and God’s forgiveness; now that’s what takes care of everything!