Legendary Olympian Michael Johnson Slams Tiger Woods Over Tampon Apology

The four-time Olympic gold medal winner thinks Woods' apology for the prank came up short

Michael Johnson attends a promotional event ahead of the 2019 Hong Kong Rugby Sevens
Michael Johnson was not impressed by Tiger Woods' apology for his prank on Justin Thomas
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There was a mixed reaction to Tiger Woods’ tampon prank on Justin Thomas during the opening round of the Genesis Invitational.

Some people took the joke in good spirits, which involved Woods handing his friend the tampon after he outdrove Thomas on the ninth hole. However, others found it offensive.

Woods later apologised for the prank, saying: "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."

For former Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson, that apology fell well short of his expectations though. The American expressed his disappointment in Woods on Twitter, writing: “Apology starting with: ‘If I offended anyone’ is no apology. 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.”

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Johnson’s comments contrasted with those of other high-profile figures who defended Woods, including former pro Paige Spiranac who didn't think he had anything to apologise for, first declaring the prank "funny" and then writing: “It's interesting to see women outraged by Tiger slipping JT a tampon after out driving him but those same women will quickly tear me down for how I've decided to build my business. You can't pick and choose when to be a feminist."

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Woods will no doubt be hoping the incident is quickly put to one side so the focus can instead turn to his recovery from injury. His latest comeback ended with a creditable tie for 45th at Riviera Country Club following an encouraging performance that included a highly impressive 67 during the third round. 

Following the tournament, the 47-year-old confirmed he intends to play in all four Majors in 2023, starting with The Masters, where he will be looking for his sixth title at Augusta National.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.