Professional Golfer, Matt Every, is leading the Sony open after the third round but unfortunately that is not the big story hovering over Every. The big story is how he handled himself and what he said in an interview with Kelly Tilghman of the Golf Channel.
To make a long story short, back in 2010 Every was at the John Deere Classic and was suspended for 3 months. He was suspended because he was arrested for possession of marijuana (he pleaded no contest and charges were later dropped). So as part of her interview, Tilghman, asked about that time. Instead of just saying something like it was a learning experience and I’ve moved on, Every just went on and on saying some really stupid (for lack of a better term) things. For example, “Honestly, man, I know more people who smoke marijuana than who don’t smoke marijuana. I know that’s probably not the politically correct thing to say, but it’s the truth.”
When I saw this interview, I felt sorry for Every because I assumed his “management” had done him a dis-service by not giving him any PR training on how to answer questions. Some online chatter blamed Tilghman for asking a personal question but what many may not have realized is that Matt Every was on a Golf Channel “reality” show called The Big Break and they ask lots of personal questions to get the back story on the contestants. Tilghman did her job and Every should have known how to answer quickly and move on.
He lost my sympathy vote the next day during the press conference. When asked about the interview with Tilghman, Every went on and on again and at one point he said ” I’m not running for president; I’m a golfer. So I’m really not trying to, you know, piss anyone off.” The word that he excluded in his statement was “just” (I’m just a golfer) but it was implied (in my opinion).
When someone says (with all seriousness/not joking) “I’m just a [fill in the blank]” it is a cop-out. They are basically removing any ownership or responsibility for their own words and actions. That just doesn’t cut it for me; especially with professional athletes because they are role models and so at a minimum should think before they speak.
Hopefully Every will learn from this experience but I will not be cheering for him to win the Sony open. I’m cheering for Jeff Maggert, the co-leader after the third round, not just because I am not a fan of Every’s but because I am a fan of Maggert’s. After all, he is one of my golf fantasy picks.