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This research explored how press outlets and fans framed professional golfer Tiger Woods’s marital infidelity. A textual analysis of newspaper reports and discussion postings on Tiger Woods’s official Facebook page was conducted. Analysis revealed that press accounts framed Woods’s actions as a tragic flaw that precipitated his fall from grace, while also reveling in the salacious details of the extramarital affairs. Conversely, fans primarily framed these incidents as private matters that demonstrated Woods’s human nature. The analysis suggests that social-media sites are valuable public relations tools that athletes can use to quickly generate support that counteracts perceived negative media framing. Social-media sites also enable fans to enhance perceptions of closeness with athletes as fans interject themselves into athletes’ media narratives.
The author is with the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.