ESPN Photoshops Tiger Woods Mugshot to Make Him Look Better

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By Ian Miles Cheong | 6:26 am, May 31, 2017
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Following Tiger Woods’ arrest on Monday, ESPN photoshopped an image of the former golf pro that made him look less unkempt.

Published by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the original mugshot featured a pale-skinned Tiger Woods with frizzy hair, and glazed, heavy-lidded eyes. It made the rounds on social media as news media published articles about the arrest.

ESPN’s distribution of Woods’ mugshot in its “breaking news” feed featured a picture different than the original—his unkempt, balding coiffure was transformed into a clean crew cut, akin to his days as a sportsman. The color of the golfer’s skin also appeared to be altered to give him a healthier tone.

The sports network claims that his obviously photoshopped hair was edited to fit the template it uses for athlete’s professional headshots.

“We have utilized a standard template for on-air headshots, which led to the background being dropped for consistency,” wrote ESPN. “We will revisit this process to improve it going forward.”

Following complaints and criticism on social media, the network has switched to using the proper mugshot, with a short description of his arrest.

The police state that they found Woods asleep at the wheel of his Mercedes-Benz, which was illegally stopped on a Jupiter, FL street with the engine and lights on. Woods appeared confused and had difficulty complying with the officers’ sobriety tests—the breathalyzer test registered zero.

The athlete apologized for his behavior and says that he was under the influence of medication, not booze.

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.