Friday, November 3
ATLANTA -- Tiger Woods, who broke ranks during the Screen Actors Guild strike by filming a commercial in Canada, will go before the union's trial board Monday for a hearing to determine if he faces any sanctions. "It's hard to say what will happen," Woods said Friday from the Tour Championship, where he is was trying to become the first player in 50 years to win 10 times in one season. "Hopefully, something positive will come out of it. There's not much I can do about it." Woods and other athletes who make commercials must be members of SAG. The union went on strike May 1 with hopes of changing the advertising industry's pay structure. It ended Oct. 28 after both sides made key concessions on labor issues. Woods canceled a Nike Golf commercial immediately after the strike began, and IMG agent Mark Steinberg said he declined to do several others. But fresh after completing the career Grand Slam in the British Open, Woods went to Canada to film an Olympic-theme commercial for Buick. "He was well aware of the rules and regulations, and we were in discussions with Buick the day before the shoot," SAG spokeswoman Ilyanne Kechivan said Friday. Woods will take part in the hearing by telephone from his home in Florida before leaving Monday night for the World Golf Championships in Spain. Kechivan said Woods will have a chance to explain why he made the commercial. She said the proceedings are closed, and was not sure when the trial board would rule. Penalties could range from a reprimand, a fine, suspension or even expulsion from the guild. Woods was not the only celebrity to break ranks. Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal made a commercial for Disney, but said the money went to charity and he issued a statement in support of the union. Steinberg said the hearing would be a chance for Woods to state his case. "What he has in his favor is the fact that while, yes, he did shoot the commercial, he canceled for six of them," Steinberg said. "Had there not been a SAG strike, he wouldn't have canceled any of them." Woods said he canceled two scheduled commercial shoots with Buick before agreeing to go to Canada. Kechivan said that was still against SAG rules. In the commercial, Woods enters several Olympic events using his golf clubs -- the javelin, archery, fencing -- before driving off in a gold Buick. Steinberg said Buick is one of Woods' top sponsors and also a top sponsor of the Olympics. Woods signed a five-year, $30 million deal in December and carries the Buick logo on his bag. "They were adamant we shoot this," Steinberg said. "We meant no harm, although we understand harm was dealt." Nike, which recently signed Woods to a new five-year deal worth $100 million, used PGA Tour footage and previous clips of Woods for its commercials during the strike. With the strike over, Woods said more Nike commercials could be forthcoming. "We're working on it now," he said. "A lot of it is dependent on what happens Monday."
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