Amid crazy hawk furor, Ernie Els shows golf class in personal push for autism research
With everyone going crazy over a jerk who killed a hawk - and crazy means idiots calling for Tripp Isenhour’s children to be hit with hate e-mails or him to be tied up and pelted with whizzing golf balls as liberal loony bloggers like WorldGolf.com’s own William K. Wolfrum defend these crazies to advance their own political agenda - Ernie Els once again showed why he’s all class.
During the PGA Tour’s PODS Championship, Els revealed that his 5-year-old son Ben suffers from autism. Els and his wife have been dealing with this quietly for years with Els never once using it as an excuse as he went through the toughest stretch of his career.
In fact, it’s certainly not coincidence that Els decided to talk about it after he had broken his PGA Tour winless streak the week before.
Els knows this isn’t a golf issue, that it has nothing to do with his inability to not throw up all over himself if Tiger Woods and he are both near the lead. It’s more important than all that.
Els told the world his is son autistic so that more light is shown on one of the most frightening health issues on our planet. Autism rates have soared, to the point now where one in 150 kids gets diagnosed with it and it’s even more prevalant among boys. If you’re a parent or thinking about becoming a parent, those are stats that are impossible not to be shaken by.
For his part, Els did the right thing by pointing out how it’s really not about him, that his millions give him access to medical treatment for Ben that millions of others around the world with autistic kids simply do not have.
“We’re in a fortunate position where money is not a real problem for our family,” Els told the Associated Press. “We can get Ben the right help. Some people are not in the same position. We’d like to raise money for the poor.”
You couldn’t help but root for Ernie Els before any of this came out. He’s one of the most human guys on Tour. He’s somehow seemingly maintained perspective even as he jets around the globe in his Lear. During the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship, I wrote about Els making sure that his 8-year-old daughter Samantha got to see the Grand Canyon while he was in Arizona working.
There aren’t many other Tour dads who break their straw-like-focus on their own game to ensure that their kids are having fun while being dragged along on the road. That’s usually all on the moms or the nannies. Els is clearly involved.
“Ben is quite affected by it,” Els told reporters. “But he’s a lovely boy.”
Els spoke from the heart. Not that many noticed with hawkgate raging on.
It makes one wonder how many of the so-called animal rights activists who’ve lost all perspective in becoming obsessed with one Nationwide Tour loser who killed a hawk with a golf ball are parents. When you have kids you’d hope you’d recognize what’s an issue that needs dollars and attention thrown at it and what’s just an excuse for small people to spew hate at an insignificant lout.
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Everybody is saying how wonderful it is for Autism generally and that Ernie's notoriety will shine more light on Autism. Nobody has however expressed any sympathy to this giant (in more ways than one).
When a family gets told that their child will be living with Autism for the rest of his life, a family needs to go through all the stages of grief - just like loosing a loved one!
Our thoughts and hearts are with you, Ernie. We're sorry to hear about Ben. Thank God he has the parents he has.
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