Society

ESPN Under Fire For Altering Tiger Woods' Mugshot (Photos)

| by Alex Scarr

Users on Twitter spotted an ESPN segment on golfer Tiger Woods and noticed that the mugshot used in a panel during a "SportsCenter" show appeared to be altered.

During a "SportsCenter" show May 29, users spotted what appeared to be a cleaned-up version of Woods' mugshot after his DUI arrest in Florida earlier that day. In the original photo, Woods' hair is unkempt and bushy above his head, whereas his photo in the "SportsCenter" segment showed him with a much tighter haircut, according to Sports Illustrated.

Users on Twitter pointed out the differences with side-by-side comparisons of the two photos, and theories quickly spread about why ESPN would alter the photo. Several users believed the network intentionally doctored the mugshot to help protect their relationship with the golfer, perhaps owing to years of favorable coverage on their network.

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But Business Insider offered a much tamer explanation, blaming quick editing and sloppy work: "When selecting part of an image in Photoshop to move it to a different background, the most popular methods are the 'lasso' tool, which allows the user to select the portion he or she wants by simply drawing a freehand line."

When "SportsCenter" took Woods' mugshot from its standard green background to overlay on their white background, the editor likely removed the tufts of hair in Woods' photo simply because they did not have time to parse through each pixel of green and remove it.

Woods was arrested in the early morning hours of May 29 in Jupiter, Florida, after police found him asleep at the wheel and booked him on suspicion of a DUI, according to CNN. Woods was found in his vehicle unresponsive and had to be woken up. He then told police that he takes "several prescriptions." He also said he was returning from a golf trip in Los Angeles and did not know where he was.

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Woods took a breathalyzer test, which registered a 0.00. He was also reportedly cooperative with authorities. In a statement, Woods said that alcohol was not involved and that he had combined medications without knowing how they would affect him.

"I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions," Woods said in the statement. He is due in court July 5.

Once widely considered the best in the sport, Woods has been away from golf's limelight for several years. He has attempted multiple comebacks in 2017, but either withdrew or missed the cut in each of the tournaments he's played in, according to Golf.com. Woods announced in April that he underwent his fourth back surgery.

Sources: Sports Illustrated, Business Insider, CNN, Golf.com / Photo credit: Matt Dempsey/FlickrTwitter

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