Football star lashes media over Tiger

LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest says an open letter to Tiger Woods was meant to encourage the golf superstar because Artest believes media coverage of Woods's mistakes has been unfair.

LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest says an open letter to Tiger Woods was meant to encourage the golf superstar because Artest believes media coverage of Woods's mistakes has been unfair.

"I just really disagree, I guess you call it backlash," Artest said on Wednesday. "Hopefully, he gets everything in order and gets back on track. Then after that I can't wait to see him play golf again."

Artest said he was motivated to write the letter after talking with friends because of the negative coverage Woods has received since acknowledging marital infidelity after his November 27 car accident near his home.

Artest does not know Woods and does not want the golfer to contact him about the comments he posted on Tuesday.

In his letter, Artest called Woods a perfect role model, while sharing some of his own story, including that he fathered a child with another woman after having two with his girlfriend, who later became his wife. Artest has two boys and two girls.

"It was a situation where we heard one of the greatest is not going to play golf, a sport he loves," Artest said. "Look at me. I'm having a great season and I make way more mistakes than him."

Artest called the golfer a "perfect role model for me and my sons". Woods's personal life was "none of their business". - Sapa-AP

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