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Transcript: The Beat with Ari Melber, 2/23/21

Guest: Bill Rhoden, Megan Ranney, Steve Sands�


Police provide details on a car crash involving Tiger Woods.


MIKE TIRICO, NBC SPORTS ANCHOR: Physically, it`s been a challenge for him,

in addition to so many other ways that Steve was alluding to.

But Tiger has found a way to fight through. His victory at the Masters in

2019 might be as incredible a result in a sporting event as any of us will

ever seen, because, months before that, he didn`t know if he would play


And, Nicolle, what struck me there and what struck me Sunday, when he won

the golf tournament, his generation is now the generation that`s out there

playing golf.


TIRICO: He handed the trophy on Sunday to a player who was just waiting to

get a high-five from him at the tournament as a kid. So, this is the Tiger

generation that we`re watching star in golf right now.

WALLACE: It`s a sad story. As we said, we understand that those injuries

are not life-threatening.

We will learn more in a news conference at the top of the hour from the

L.A. Sheriff`s Department.

But the great joy of the day was getting to talk to you about it.

Thank you so much, Mike Tirico and Steve Sands. We`re grateful that you

spent some time with us.

As I said, the Los Angeles Sheriff`s Department is going to be holding a

news conference moments from now.

Ari Melber picks up our coverage of that.

Hi, Ari.


I have been listening to your coverage, getting ready for this press

conference. Good to see you, as always.

WALLACE: Good to see you, my friend.

MELBER: Thank you, Nicolle Wallace.

I want to welcome you to THE BEAT. I`m Ari Melber.

And we`re following this breaking news, tracking the condition of golf

legend Tiger Woods after this single car crash in Southern California.

At any moment, we will get an update from the L.A. County sheriff, Woods

reportedly pulling from the wreckage through the windshield, so he was

pulled through. And firefighters say that he was alert the whole time.

Authorities say Woods was the only person in this car, his agent also

saying that Woods suffered multiple leg injuries and is in surgery.

We are awaiting this press conference. As we can see there, it`s about to

begin. We expect to learn something from this.

With our experts on hand, let`s listen in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... which occurred this morning involving Eldrick Tiger


Joining Sheriff Villanueva is Lomita Sheriff Captain James Powers and other

members of the executive command staff.

Also joining us here today is L.A. County Fire Chief Daryl Osby.

Now I would like to introduce the sheriff of Los Angeles County, Alex




Today, at 7:12 in the morning, Lomita Sheriff`s Station received a call of

a solo vehicle collision in Harbor -- or Hawthorne Boulevard, north of

Palos Verdes Drive.

We arrived on scene at 7:18 a.m. and discovered the solo vehicle collision,

and the sole occupant was, again, Tiger Woods. And deputies, at the time,

they didn`t see any evidence of impairment, anything that -- of concern.

Obviously, the lifesaving measures that had to be taken for the occupant of

the vehicle. And Chief Osby will speak to that regard. And it was a solo

vehicle. Unfortunately, during the course of the investigation of this,

there was another traffic collision happened with people being lookie loos.

And -- but that -- thankfully, there was no injuries associated with that.

The vehicle traveled several hundred feet from the center divider at the

intersection and rested on the west side of the road in the brush,

sustained major damage to the vehicle. You have seen all the images of


And with that, our Lomita Sheriff Station will be conducting the traffic

investigation. And it will take them from days to several weeks to get the

whole thing together. Once the investigation is completed, we will provide

a detailed report. It will be available based on public record act

requests, and we will not discuss it any further after that point.

But, at this point, I want to introduce Chief Daryl Osby, L.A. County Fire



Daryl Osby of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

At approximately 7:22 this morning, resources from Los Angeles County Fire

Station 106 received a report of a solo vehicle accident at the

intersection of Hawthorne boulevard and Palos Verdes Drive North in Rolling

Hills Estates.

Upon arrival of the scene of the incident, with sheriff`s on scene,

resources and personnel from the Los Angeles County Fire Department

observed a single rollover vehicle incident with one person trapped.

The person trapped was extricated by the Los Angeles County Fire Department

personnel. Earlier, it was stated that the jaws of life was utilized to

extricate the person trapped. It was later determined by our personnel that

a Halligan tool, which is used for prying, and an axe was also used to pry

the person free from the vehicle.

The person was packaged at the incident in stable condition with serious

injuries. And because of the fact they needed to be extricated, they were

transported to Harbor UCLA Hospital, because of the extrication.

And Harbor Hospital is also a trauma center. As indicated earlier, there

was also a second vehicle accident with no injuries.

Thank you.

VILLANUEVA: And the vehicle involved is a 2021 Genesis. It`s a mid-size



VILLANUEVA: So, let me switch now to Q&A, English or Spanish.


QUESTION: Good afternoon (OFF-MIKE).

Could you explain a little bit more? You were talking about impairment,

that there was no evidence of impairment. Can you be more specific about

that? And you also made mention that lifesaving efforts were performed. Can

you be more specific about that?

VILLANUEVA: Well, the deputies arrive on scene. There is a vehicle that`s

rolled over. There`s someone inside the vehicle. They can`t remove them.

Obviously, that`s -- we will leave it at that. He was alive, and he was

conscious. And that`s the extent of that.

QUESTION: What about the evidence of the impairment? You said there was no


VILLANUEVA: There was evidence of impairment.

So, subsequent to that, we`re not going to make any -- there was no effort

to draw blood, for example, at the hospital.

QUESTION: Nothing was removed from the scene or found at the scene?

VILLANUEVA: No evidence of impairment at this point in time. But I will

let Chief Osby...


QUESTION: ... Chief Osby for a second.

Chief Osby...

OSBY: Good morning.

QUESTION: Was Tiger Woods conscious when you got there? Did he say

anything to the paramedics who arrived? And can you tell us a little bit

more? If you didn`t use the jaws of life, how exactly did that extrication

process take place?


The information I got back from my personnel and the things that they do

is, they would do a scene assessment.

It was brought to my attention that he was conscious. Now, exactly what was

said is unknown, but he was conscious.

Our personnel make an assessment to make a determination to the level of

consciousness, make sure that they`re breathing, control any serious

bleeding, and then control and address any serious injuries.

It was brought to my attention that he had serious leg injuries, and that

was assessed at the incident.

The jaws of life are used as part of a package to extricate people that are

trapped in vehicles. But it was later determined and brought to the

attention that the jaws of life were not used to extricate Tiger Woods.

We used a Halligan tool, which is a tube used for prying. And we also used

an ax to pry him from the vehicle. He was taken from the vehicle with C-

collar and backboard for spinal precautions.

He was -- had the proper splints. Because of the nature of the incident,

being a solo vehicle rollover, and the fact that it required an

extrication, that meant trauma center criteria. The nearest trauma center

to the area is Harbor UCLA Hospital, where he was transported in serious,

but stable condition.

QUESTION: Which leg?

OSBY: That, I do not know. It`s my understanding that he had serious

injuries to both legs.

QUESTION: Both legs.


QUESTION: Was it his decision to go Harbor UCLA, or you took him to the

closest emergency room?

Given his condition at the time, was it that severe, that`s what you had to


OSBY: The determination to where to be transported was made by the

paramedics and the captain unseen.

The reason that Tiger Woods was transported to Harbor UCLA Hospital is

because it`s a trauma center criteria. Because of the nature of the

incident, it was a solo rollover vehicle, and the damage to the vehicle,

and also it required him to be extricated, that`s one of the criteria that

meets trauma center criteria.

Therefore, he was transported to the nearest trauma center, which is Harbor

UCLA Hospital.

QUESTION: Was he airlifted? And can you tell us if he had injuries

anywhere other than his legs? And were any of those injuries critical?

OSBY: It was my under -- he was not airlifted. There were no other life-

endangering injuries, to my knowledge.

QUESTION: Sheriff Villanueva, a question, if you would.

I know it`s a little early. The investigators haven`t done all their stuff

on that. But any indication about the speed at the time that the vehicle

lost control over the center divider?

Every -- all the reporters have talked to neighbors saying, you`re going

down that hill, you take your foot off the brakes, you`re at 50-plus before

you do it.

Any indication how fast that vehicle may have been going at the time he


VILLANUEVA: Well, at the time it made -- it crossed the center divider to

the point that it rested was several hundred feet away. So, I obviously,

that indicates they were going at a relatively greater speed than normal.

However, because it is downhill, it slopes, and also it curves, that area

has a high frequency of accidents. It is not uncommon.

QUESTION: Any skid marks or any (OFF-MIKE) he tried to brake or stop?

VILLANUEVA: No skid marks, no braking.

So, apparently, the first contact was with the center median, and from

there then across into the opposing lane of traffic, hit the curb, hit a

tree, and there were several rollovers during that process.

QUESTION: And they haven`t give you any kind of a preliminary indication

in excess of 45, 50 (OFF-MIKE) miles an hour?

VILLANUEVA: That -- they`re going to have to figure that one out. That`s

why the traffic investigators make the big bucks that they make.

QUESTION: Sheriff, what can you tell us about his condition now? Are you

still in touch with Mr. Woods`s team.

VILLANUEVA: We have reached out. We have been in touch with his manager,

and they do not want to release anything on his condition right now.

QUESTION: We hear that he is out of surgery and perhaps been moved to his

own room, Sheriff?

VILLANUEVA: All we know, that serious condition as a result of the

accident. And that`s all they want to say.


QUESTION: Are you looking at weather as a factor in this accident, Sheriff


VILLANUEVA: Weather is not a factor.


QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) get him out of the car? How long was that process?

VILLANUEVA: Well, we arrived on scene at 7:18. They were notified within

four minutes. And...

OSBY: Yes.

We got the call from the sheriff`s department at approximately 7:22 this

morning. Our resources arrived on scene at approximately 7:28. I don`t have

the information right now in relation to how long it took to extricate him

from the vehicle.

QUESTION: Do you have any indication there were drugs or medications

involved (OFF-MIKE)


QUESTION: Who called it in? Did someone call 911, a bystander? (OFF-MIKE)

VILLANUEVA: We had a neighbor call 911. That`s how the call was received

at the station.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) Did he fall -- is it possible he asleep at the wheel?

VILLANUEVA: No evidence of impairment at this time. That will be subject

to the investigation.

QUESTION: When you say no evidence of impairment, what exactly -- what

impairments are you looking at?

VILLANUEVA: Well, we`re looking at signs of influence -- under the

influence of either narcotics, medication, alcohol, odor of alcohol, all

these different things that would give you an idea and their behavior, but

there was none present.


QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) episodes, appear he could have fallen asleep? (OFF-


VILLANUEVA: That -- now we`re going beyond what we have at the time. So,

that will take -- the investigators will have to figure that out.

QUESTION: I understand some vehicles now have essentially a black box that

reports their information about how the fast is car is going. Did air bags

deploy? Telemetry (OFF-MIKE) Did this vehicle have that? (OFF-MIKE)

information from that in the investigation?

VILLANUEVA: The investigators will be able to -- if they have it, they

will be able to have that and download it. And that will give us a good



QUESTION: Was (OFF-MIKE) Tiger`s team following the vehicle? Was it just

him solo?

VILLANUEVA: Not that we`re aware of.

QUESTION: Sheriff, you said that he was conscious (OFF-MIKE) Was he able

to communicate how much pain he was in, whether or not -- was he able to

communicate at all?

VILLANUEVA: He was able to communicate. And he was conscious. I will leave

it at that.





QUESTION: Sheriff, do you know how long he was in the car before 911

arrived? Did he say at all how long he had been waiting?

VILLANUEVA: Well, we got the call at 7:12. And that came from the

neighbor. So, we have to assume it -- they made that call almost

immediately as soon as it happened, because the neighbors, they are sitting

right within 50 feet of the location.


QUESTION: So, they saw the crash happen?

VILLANUEVA: If they didn`t see it, they heard it, because it literally

happened at their doorstep.

QUESTION: This is a courtesy car that he was driving, a Genesis courtesy

car; is that correct?

VILLANUEVA: That is correct.

QUESTION: And is it possible that Mr. Woods was on the phone when the

accident occurred? Or is this one of the factors that we`re going to be


VILLANUEVA: That`s something we will have to explore. The investigators

will have to ascertain that, if it was distracted driving.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) Osby, can you describe how the axe and the special

tool were used to extricate him from the vehicle, as far as the doors go?

How were the tools used (OFF-MIKE)


As it pertains to the vehicle, as articulated earlier, it was a rollover


And so Tiger Woods was trapped inside the vehicle. So, our firefighters and

our firefighter paramedics used the pry bar -- they call it a Halligan tool

-- and an axe to pry parts of the vehicle away from him, so they were able

to safely extricate him from the vehicle.

QUESTION: At what point did you realize it was Tiger Woods? Did he

identify himself? Did they check his license? How did you know who it was?

VILLANUEVA: They recognized him, and he identified himself as well.

QUESTION: Sheriff, did you say no blood was drawn at the scene from Tiger?

VILLANUEVA: No, we don`t have that capability, nor do we want it.

QUESTION: Sheriff Villanueva, the accident crime scene has taken a long

time. It`s been there now for several hours. Just moving the car now.

Is there a reason so much time has been taken at this crime scene? Are

there certain factors you`re looking at? Are there certain pieces of

evidence you`re hoping to find? Or is it simply the fact this is Tiger

Woods, and this is the way we`re going the handle it?

VILLANUEVA: Well, any serious accident of this nature is going the take

time. It usually takes hours. And removing the vehicle is one of the last

steps. And they have done all their markers, taken all their measurements,

gathered up all the stuff.

And then three or four hours is pretty normal, actually.

QUESTION: The celebrity component is not playing a factor?

VILLANUEVA: I don`t think that will play a factor in it.


QUESTION: Were the neighbors approaching him, like checking on his well-

being? Did they like make to it the site and actually make contact with


VILLANUEVA: No, they did not. No. There is a bluff. They`re sitting about

20 feet above the place where the vehicle came to rest.


QUESTION: Sheriff, can you talk a little bit if he was able to stand after

he was taken out? Was he able take a couple of steps? Can you talk a little

bit about what that looked like?

VILLANUEVA: He was not able to get up, no. That was not an option.

QUESTION: Did Tiger Woods ask you to contact anyone for him? Did he ask

you to contact a specific member of his family or a specific member of his

team that was here for the golf tournament at this point?

VILLANUEVA: At the hospital, he did, but not at the scene.

QUESTION: I`m sorry, sir. Can you clarify?

VILLANUEVA: He did at the hospital, but not at the scene.

QUESTION: He asked you to contact...


QUESTION: ... a member of his family?

VILLANUEVA: Who was it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A member of his team.

VILLANUEVA: Oh, a member of his team.

Thank you.


QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) ... inside the car?


QUESTION: Can you talk about the conditions inside the car? Was he

trapped? Was he able to move at all?

VILLANUEVA: Well, the interior -- the cabinet of the vehicle was more or

less intact. The front end was totally destroyed. The bumpers, everything

was destroyed. Air bags deployed, all of that.

And, however, thankfully, the interior was more or less intact, which kind

of gave him the cushion to survive what otherwise would have been a fatal








QUESTION: Was he wearing a seat belt? Or did he give any indication of

where he was coming from or heading to?

VILLANUEVA: Well, he was -- definitely was heading northbound on


QUESTION: Was he wearing a seat belt?











VILLANUEVA: What was that?

QUESTION: Did he hit the Rolling Hills Estate sign that is right there?

VILLANUEVA: That -- he actually struck the first one going northbound. And

that was on the center median. That was the first thing that he made

contact with.

QUESTION: Sheriff, can you repeat that?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) Do we know where (OFF-MIKE)

VILLANUEVA: Not to my knowledge, no.

QUESTION: Sheriff, there are some reports that he was seen speeding

earlier in day. Have you heard those? And will you be conducting any other

interviews following up on those?

VILLANUEVA: That will be up to the traffic investigators and the


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any more questions?


QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) factor in this?

VILLANUEVA: Well, like every accident in that area, when it`s downhill on

a curve, the speed, the vehicle code 22350 says unsafe speed for driving


Typically, in an accident, when there`s -- it`s a factor, that is one of

the sections that is cited. And, sometimes, just because that`s the posted

speed limit, if there`s a wet road, for example, that doesn`t mean your

speed limit is fixed there.

Thank actually have to slow down even lower than that for the conditions of

the road. So, downhill on a curve is something that it`s a lesson for

everyone. You got to be aware of this.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) I know you had answered a question, but just some

clarity. He is coming down off the hill? Speed, we think, is a factor.

What is the first thing he hit when loses control and goes over (OFF-MIKE)

Walk us through the sequence of events there.

VILLANUEVA: From what I understand, the first thing was, when he made

contact with the center median, it would be the welcome to Rolling Hills

Estate sign.

QUESTION: Sheriff...


QUESTION: That`s the first thing he hits, is the sign?

VILLANUEVA: And that`s in the center median. There`s actually two signs.

He hit the first one, the southernmost of us two signs.

And then he winds up going across southbound lanes into the brush on the

other side.

QUESTION: And he hit the tree? Is that correct?

VILLANUEVA: Yes, there is a tree, about eight-inch stump, and that one was



QUESTION: You talked about the fact that he was -- he communicated to you.

Can you describe to us his pain threshold at this -- at the time? This is a

man who has to be rushed into surgery today. And his legs are damaged. Was

he in shock? Was he in tears? Was he in excruciating pain? How can you

describe his reaction to those who first got there?

VILLANUEVA: I will leave that up to Chief Osby on that one.


VILLANUEVA: Good luck with that.

OSBY: Yes.

Once again, Daryl Osby, fire chief of Los Angeles County Fire Department.

I can`t respond to the specifics of Tiger Woods. I mean, some of those

questions are personal and need to be released from him or whomever is

representing him.

The only thing I can tell you from my experience of working in public

safety for the past four decades, that any time you`re involved in a single

vehicle accident like this, with rollover and that level of damage, and

broken legs and lacerations, that you`re going to be in severe pain.

QUESTION: What was your concern, then, Chief, when he was injured and

you`re transporting him? How concerned were those paramedics to get him to

the hospital in a certain amount of time?

OSBY: The fact of the matter is that he was a serious condition, but he

was stable enough to transport to a trauma center.

If the injuries were more dramatic, and they couldn`t control an airway,

then they would have transported him to the nearest facility. But the fact

that he was able to -- he was stable enough to be transported to a hospital

farther away, which was the most appropriate hospital to be transported for

because of the nature of the injuries, the nature of the incident, says

that it was a very serious injury, he met trauma center criteria, but he

wasn`t so serious that he needed to be transported to the nearest hospital

for immediate lifesaving procedures.

QUESTION: Chief, there`s a L.A. County fire captain who says that he was

able to stand as they assisted him out of the vehicle.

Is there any truth to this idea that he was able to stand?

OSBY: I cannot respond to that statement. I don`t know.

QUESTION: Chief, just to clarify, is he still at that same trauma center

now? Or has he been transferred anywhere else?

OSBY: It`s my understanding that he is still at Harbor General -- or --

excuse me -- Harbor UCLA Hospital, and no statement has been allowed for

release yet -- to be released yet.

VILLANUEVA: Actually, before -- Deputy Gonzalez was actually the first

deputy on scene. So, he can perhaps clarify some of the questions that you

may have.


Deputy Gonzalez. I`m assigned to Lomita`s Sheriff Station. I`m the


QUESTION: First name.

GONZALEZ: Deputy Carlos Gonzalez.

I was the first unit on scene. And I`m the handling deputy for the -- for

this current traffic collision.

QUESTION: Deputy Gonzalez, could you speak to that question?

There`s an L.A. County fire captain who says that Tiger Woods was able to

stand as they assisted him out of the vehicle. Is there any truth to the

idea that he was able to stand?

GONZALEZ: Unfortunately, Mr. Woods was not able to stand under his own


Our partners at L.A. County Fire were able to extricate him from the

vehicle, and they put him on to a backboard.

When I arrived on scene, Mr. Woods was seated in the driver`s seat. I made

contact with him, and I ensured that he was able to speak to me. At that

time, he seemed as though he was still calm and lucid.

I made the determination that it would be safer to wait for L.A. County

Fire to help remove him, instead of trying to remove him myself. I kept Mr.

Woods calm until L.A. County Fire arrived on the scene.


QUESTION: What did you do to keep him calm, Deputy?

GONZALEZ: I spoke to him. I asked...

QUESTION: What was the conversation? Can you share with us, please?

GONZALEZ: I asked him what his name was. He said his name was Tiger.

And, at that moment, I immediately recognized him. I asked him if he knew

where he was, what time of day, just to make sure he was oriented. He

seemed as though he was lucid and calm.

QUESTION: Was he concerned about his injuries?

GONZALEZ: He didn`t seem concerned of his injuries at the time, which is

not uncommon in traffic collisions.

Many times, people tend to be in shock. It`s a traumatic experience. So,

it`s not uncommon for people to be focused on unimportant things or, even

if they are in pain, they might not feel it until much later.


QUESTION: Was the incident caught on your body cam?

GONZALEZ: Yes, my body camera was used, per department policy.

QUESTION: Deputy, in the photos of the air bags, there is blood. We`re

trying to figure out anything we`re seeing.

Did you see any injuries on him other than the legs, as you were just

assessing him on-site?

GONZALEZ: I did observe injuries. I can`t speak into -- as to the nature

of the injuries. I`m not a trained medical professional.

So I can`t speak to that. What I can say is that he was injured, and he was

successfully removed and taken to the hospital.

QUESTION: And you saw that he had a seat belt on?

GONZALEZ: He was wearing a seat belt.

QUESTION: Did he have lacerations, as well as the leg injuries?

GONZALEZ: If he did, I was not able to see them due to his clothing.

QUESTION: You have seen a lot of car accidents. Do you think this type of

car saved his life? Or you think like a cheaper car wouldn`t have had (OFF-


GONZALEZ: As mentioned by the sheriff, that specific stretch of roadway is

one of our trouble spots.

Our locals in Rancho Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills Estates know that it`s

a hot spot for traffic collisions, as well as speed. In my experience, as a

deputy who is traffic-trained and works a traffic car, I have seen many


The nature of his vehicle, the fact that he was wearing a seat belt, I

would say that it greatly increased the likelihood that it saved his life.

QUESTION: Is this the worst accident you have seen on that stretch?

GONZALEZ: I would will say no, because I have been doing this for a while,

and I have seen fatal traffic collisions. So, I will say that it`s very

fortunate that Mr. Woods was able to come out of this alive.

QUESTION: Deputy Gonzalez, this is an accident-prone stretch, correct? We

have seen a number of accidents on this specific stretch; is that correct?

GONZALEZ: This stretch of roadway is downhill. It`s sweeping.

Speeds there -- the speed limit is 45 miles per hour. Myself, when I`m

doing speed enforcement, I will sometimes catch people going 80-plus miles

per hour. So it`s more of a thing that this -- people see a nice stretch of

road, and maybe they`re not watching their speedometer, or maybe they`re in

a hurry.

QUESTION: In your conversations with Tiger, were you ever concerned in the

time that you spent with him that -- of his pain threshold or that he was

going lose consciousness at all?

GONZALEZ: At the moment that I spoke to Mr. Woods, I was able to determine

that it would have been safer for me to wait for L.A. County Fire because

his condition seemed stable, and I did not want to risk further injuring

himself by trying to remove himself myself.


GONZALEZ: So, the neighbor that lives behind heard the collision and came

down and was one the that was directed me to the vehicle.

As was indicated by the sheriff, there was another unrelated traffic

collision that occurred several feet down the roadway, which I believe was

due to people trying to look.

And that also kind of distracted from what was occurring, because he was

several feet off the roadway. So I think most of the attention that people

were focused on wasn`t on the roadway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One more question. One more question.


QUESTION: Deputy, can you describe what things looked like inside of the

car? (OFF-MIKE)

GONZALEZ: As indicated by the sheriff, the interior passenger compartment

of the vehicle was intact. The air bags did deploy successfully.

Again, he was wearing his seat belt. I think this also kind of speaks to

the marvel of modern automobiles, in that they`re much safer than they have

ever been previously.

QUESTION: Deputy, any idea how many times the vehicle flipped?

GONZALEZ: We don`t know that at this time.

QUESTION: Do you speak Spanish?






QUESTION: Were there security cameras in the area?










QUESTION: Thank you, sir.

QUESTION: Sir (OFF-MIKE) citations?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you all for coming. This concludes our press


MELBER: We have been listening to the first extensive briefing by

authorities in Lomita, California, the sheriff`s department, fire

department, regarding this car crash of Tiger Woods, providing information

about how he was found, about the process, about the area, which they say

is prone to accidents.

No evidence of impairment at this juncture, is the summary they gave with

regard to that question, and also mentioned that he remains in serious

condition, while emphasizing, while everyone is concerned about Tiger

Woods` well-being, they weren`t going beyond what his authorities, his

managers said he wanted to share, that he remains in serious condition and

getting surgery.

We have a panel of experts and reporters here tracking all of this. Quite a

day for the Woods family.

And I want to bring in NBC`s Steve Patterson. He is at the hospital where

Tiger Woods has been undergoing this surgery, NBC Sports` Jimmy Roberts,

who has been covering Tiger Woods for most of his career, Steve Sands from

The Golf Channel on NBC, and one of our experts known to viewers on many

stories. Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency room physician.

Steve, I will bring it in you first, given the reporting you`re doing.

Anything you want to share or add in context, having heard from the

authorities in this first briefing?

STEVE PATTERSON, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, just the biggest takeaway

pertaining to color surrounding his medical status at the scene of the

accident, which, as you mentioned, that he was lucid, that he was well

enough, according to one sheriff`s deputy, to actually communicate, to say

his name during -- at the scene, even that he was, in some respect, despite

being physically injured, and probably pretty seriously, that he was calm

at the scene, all lending itself to the fact that earlier we had heard that

he was assisted from the scene and not taken from the scene.

It seems to lend itself to the fact, again, he was conscious, well enough

to be taken, also in that information, from a hospital that wasn`t the

closest from the scene. He went to the hospital that I`m now standing at,

which is maybe at least one or two hospitals that would have been the

closest away from the scene.

So, again, that he was in good spirit, that he was conscious and alert and

communicating all lends itself to the fact that he may be doing better than

maybe first suspected, although, again, sustaining serious injuries to his

legs. We have not heard anything about life-threatening injuries or really

anything to elaborate from the hospital official here on site themselves,

but just in hearing that press conference, hearing that he was able to

communicate obviously a big part of what`s going on here now.

Also hearing about the actual site of the accident, that this is on a steep

incline, that area infamous for numerous traffic accidents, that the rate

of speed posted somewhere around 45 miles per hour, that the sheriff`s

deputy said there he has pulled people over that have done 80-plus miles an


Just because of the steep incline, the numerous S-curves in that area lends

itself to several accidents. And then the fact, obviously, that they said

no signs of impairment at the scene itself. Obviously, more details are

going to be worked out as the investigation continues. But that gives you

an early picture of what it was like, and that Tiger Woods himself was

conscious as he was taken to the hospital -- Ari.

MELBER: Thank you, Steve. Hang with us.

I will remind viewers what we have been watching here on the overhead

cameras is a grim reminder of how serious the accident was. You have the

overhead shot here of Mr. Woods` vehicle that he was found in, obviously

very banged up. And we have this aerial shot of how they`re, of course,

processing the vehicle.

Dr. Ranney, your view on what the limited available medical information

says about Mr. Woods` condition, as many, of course, are rooting for his

recovery, and also the question that comes to mind with any athlete like

this, whether you can deduce anything about if he is well enough to come

out of the hospital and be fine, whether he can play again.

DR. MEGAN RANNEY, RHODE ISLAND HOSPITAL: You know, Ari, those are the

questions that we`re all asking.

I will say, as a medical professional, as an E.R. doc who sees these

crashes almost every day, it sounds like this was a serious rollover with

potentially limb-threatening injuries. They appropriately assessed, made

sure that he was breathing, made sure his circulation was OK, he wasn`t

bleeding out, and then took him to a trauma center, which is where we are

best equipped to take care of this type of serious patient.

At the moment of a serious injury, we don`t care who you are, and we really

don`t care if you`re impaired. So, that question is almost difficult to

assess at that moment of a crash. It sounds like what they did was

stabilize him, make sure that he was safe for transport, and then did the

right thing, which was to get him to a trauma center.

It sounds like, based on what has been reported, like, he did have major,

potentially limb-threatening injuries that have required him to go to


I can speculate as to what those might have been, open fractures,

dislocations, injuries of the arteries or major veins in his legs. Until we

get more information, it will be difficult to say what comes next.

But I can say that, after having emergent trauma surgery on your legs, it

is unlikely for him to play golf again for a minimum of a couple of months,

potentially much longer, depending on what type of injuries were sustained.

MELBER: That`s striking, Doctor.

Jimmy Roberts, you have followed this for so long. This is a sad day for

anyone who`s a fan or cares about Mr. Woods. Walk us through your thoughts

about what he`s going through today and this journey he`s been on, with so

many ups and downs.

JIMMY ROBERTS, NBC SPORTSCASTER: Well, Ari, I have been saying this a

number of times today.

Regardless of whether you`re a fan of Tiger Woods or you`re not, I mean,

the plain fact is he`s basically The Beatles. A day doesn`t go by in his

life when he comes out of his house, and every single person that he

encounters doesn`t want something from him.

He has been a remarkable athlete. The things that he has done as a golfer

have been, for the most part, unparalleled. But I think that, beyond that,

he`s also been something of a cultural figure. I don`t think there`s any

question about that, when he won the Masters by 12 strokes back in 1997,

all the things that he has done since.

I think that, just listening to the press conference, though, there`s one

thing that kind of called out to me. Despite the fact that we don`t really

know very much, I thought I heard one of the fire department people say

that he had broken his legs.

Now, I could be wrong about that, but I was pretty sure I heard that. And

if that`s the case, anybody who knows the game of golf will tell you that

your legs are the engine that enable you to do what you do.

And the immediate parallel is Ben Hogan back in 1949, one of the greatest

golfers of all time, when he was injured. He and his wife are driving in

Texas, and they were hit head on by a Greyhound bus. And it took him a year

to come back, actually a little bit less than a year. But he was able to go

on and win.

But he was significantly handicapped for the rest of his career. At this

point, it is way premature to speculate on anything like that. But, I mean,

so, to answer your question, really, my thoughts today are all over the



MELBER: Well, Jimmy, let me -- yes, let me jump in.

And just since you raised it for viewers, we did hear that from the

authorities there, the report of broken legs, so confirming what you also

heard. And that`s double sourcing, if you want to call it that. We have all

been watching this briefing.

And so first to you, and then Steve can weigh in as well, given the doctor

is mentioning what recovery looks like, the stage he is in his career, and

dealing with broken legs, what this means tonight -- again, that`s -- we`re

getting that information in the briefing -- what this means tonight, Jimmy,

for people who would hope to someday see Tiger Woods play again.

ROBERTS: Well, first of all, the first thought I have is that I hope he`s

OK. Regardless of what he does for a living, you see a crash scene like

that, you just hope that anybody who was involved is OK.

But there`s a -- for me, there`s a cruel irony about this. At this point,

Tiger Woods has 82 PGA tour wins. And that ties in with Sam Snead for the

most of all time. I think there are probably a lot of people who might have

thought that his ability to reach 18 major championships, which would have

tied him with Jack Nicklaus, would have been unlikely. He would need three

more at this point.

But I think that most people probably thought that he would have had a

pretty good chance to surpass Sam Snead, and all he would need would be one

more victory. And now that`s what I`m thinking about. You`re wondering if

he`s going to be able to play golf again. And, if he`s not, what a cruel

irony that is, to be stopped there.


Steve Sands, your thoughts?

STEVE SANDS, GOLF CHANNEL ON NBC: To echo what Jimmy was just talking

about, Jack Nicklaus Has the major championship record in golf with 18, and

Tiger is on 15. He has those 82 victories, the last coming in Tokyo at the

Zozo Championship back in 2019, also the year that he won his last major

championship, the Masters, at Augusta National Golf Club.

And, like Jimmy said, if you go back to the irony part of it, in 2008, on

NBC, Tiger won against Rocco Mediate in a Monday playoff at the U.S. Open

at Torrey Pines. The U.S. open will be played again on Golf Channel on NBC

this June at Torrey Pines.

And Tiger is so familiar with that golf course. And he won it that week

with a broken leg. Now, this is a completely different scenario. But the

irony there is definitely worth noting. And I think that, for Tiger, what

Tiger has been doing the last seven, eight years in the world of golf with

his foundation, with his children, completely different scenario than what

Tiger did as a professional golfer only, competing against the best players

in the world and being a machine, with a focus unlike anybody we had ever

seen in this sport.

And he`s opened up a little bit more in the last six or seven years. He`s

allowed people in a little bit more. He has certainly become a father

figure, a big brother figure, Ari, to the guys who are now the best players

in the world on the PGA Tour. He talks with them, he jokes with them, he

texts with them, he`s in touch with them.

That`s not what he was like when he first came out to become the icon he

ended up being. When he first came out of Stanford and turned professional,

he would ice everybody, because that`s the way he thought he needed to be

on and off the golf course to be the best player on the planet.

He`s completely evolved over the years, not only on the golf course as a

player, but also as a man, as a father, as someone who deals with his

foundation and the kids that he is helping, millions and millions of

dollars raised each and every year for thousands and thousands of children

all over the world, benefit from Tiger and the Tiger Woods Foundation.

So, all we`re thinking about now is health. Of course, we`d like to see him

come back and compete. But that`s the last thing on the minds of everybody

right now.

MELBER: Yes, and, as the authorities were briefing on the crash site, the

calls that came in, the car so banged up, we`re looking at that footage, I

want to bring in NBC`s Simone Boyce, who has been reporting on this near

the crash site.

Simone, take it away.

SIMONE BOYCE, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Ari, well, we just heard the

sheriff`s office describe the scene of this accident.

We can actually show it to you right now. This is Hawthorne Boulevard. And,

apparently, Tiger Woods was heading northbound on the street, which means

that he was heading down this curve.

And he -- the authorities just told us that it`s very likely that he was

moving at a greater speed than normal. And they say that that`s pretty

typical for this area. They tend to see lots of traffic accidents in this

area, because you can see just how steep the grade of this road is.

So, when you combine that with a curve, that makes a perfect combination

for near fatal accidents. And I think that`s what`s just so striking about

what we just heard from this press conference.

I mean, they use words like he was trapped, that he could have died. I

mean, that`s how serious this accident was. And you can see this from the

footage of the wreck. And we are told that he hit multiple objects during

this accident.

And while we don`t know the cause of this accident, they did mention that

there is no evidence of impairment at this time. We do know that speed is

going to be one of the main factors that they are going to be considering

in this investigation, given the area.

I mean, this area is called Rolling Hills Estates for a reason. And you can

see one of these hills behind me right now.

MELBER: Simone Boyce, thank you very much out there, as you say, in that


I want to thank Simone and Steve Patterson, who`ve been reporting on this

for us.

Our coverage continues now. And I want to keep our other sports experts, as

well as Dr. Ranney.

Dr. Ranney, when you look at what the authorities did provide, including

choosing to share that they didn`t see any evidence of medical impairment,

while, of course, that`s a question that comes up, because, in the past,

Tiger Woods has had these other issues, what, if anything, do you glean

from that, when, obviously, there`s still more investigation of medical

information that`s not public at this time?

RANNEY: At that moment of the car crash, our top priority is making sure

that we can save the person`s life. It`s not assessing whether they have

been drinking or whether they`re high or whether they have been using other


It`s about making sure that they`re able to breathe, that they haven`t lost

their blood pressure, and that we`re going to be able to get them to the

trauma center alive. That was really my takeaway from what they said during

the press conference, was that they focused on making sure that he was

conscious, that he was protecting his airway, and that he was safe and

stable for transport to the trauma center, where they could take proper

care of him.

The other thing that I heard was them acknowledging that they can`t release

information without his consent. We do have this concept of protected

health information in the United States. They have to get consent from the

patient to tell us more details about what`s going on, besides the fact

that he`s serious or stable.

And so I heard a lot of kind of dancing around what exactly had happened

and how exactly he was doing. In many ways, this left me with many more

questions than we have answers. Saying that he was awake at the time

doesn`t mean a lot. As the sheriff mentioned, you can see people who are in

severe shock and still are awake and conscious and even talking at the time

of a crash.

So, I have a lot more questions, and I`m hopeful that his manager team will

release more information as the hours and days go by.

MELBER: And, briefly, Doctor, did you make anything one way or the other

of them sharing the fact that he identified himself as Tiger? And it is

different. Everyone`s entitled, hopefully, to the same medical care, but

this is a matter of huge public interest. And they immediately realized who

he was.

RANNEY: Yes, I appreciated the mentioning that they would take the same

care of him whether he`s a celebrity or not. That`s one of our core ethoses

as medical professionals. It doesn`t matter who you are or where you`re

from. We`re going to take good care of you no matter what.

And I heard them say that. We ask people if they know their name, their

age, if they know where they are, what year it is. Those are some of our

standard questions around assessing someone`s level of orientation and


And I would hope that they treated him the same. Taking him to Harbor UCLA,

which is the closest trauma center, was absolutely the right thing.

The one other thing that I will comment on was the sheriff`s comment about

his wearing his seat belt and about the safety of cars. You look at that

picture, and you can`t help but be struck by how badly hurt that car is.

And if Tiger survives and goes on to be OK, it is going to be because he

was wearing his seat belt and because he was in a modern car with air bags

and all of the modern engineering that we use.

So, I really just want to use this to emphasize how lucky we are, how lucky

he is that he was seat belted at the time of that crash.

MELBER: Jimmy, any final thoughts before we lose you?

ROBERTS: Listen, I`m a parent and I`m on the way to see my 17-year-old

play basketball. And I`m listening to what the doctor said. And all I can

think of is seat belts. Amen.


Steve Sands?

SANDS: Well, to echo what Jimmy just said, I`m about to go see my 16-year-

old play basketball.


SANDS: And he just got his driver`s license last week.

Seat belts are very important. Paying attention is very important. And for

all of us in sports, and also just, as fathers and as people, we sure hope

Tiger is OK. We hope he gets through this all right.

MELBER: A hundred percent.

I think I can echo that and appreciate the parental and medical view here.

And a reminder to everyone to wear seat belts, like, in this case, the

authorities mentioning Mr. Woods did.

My thanks to Jimmy, Steve and Megan, Dr. Ranney.

I want to turn now, as our coverage continues, and we`re absorbing the

breaking news on Tiger Woods, who is undergoing the surgery after his car

crash, our coverage will continue right now with a friend and expert we

have called upon before about both sports and the wider dimensions, Bill

Rhoden, columnist for ESPN.

He`s among the many sports enthusiasts around the world shocked by this

news about a figure whose influence is so much broader than sports. Woods

swiftly became a global icon when he went pro at age 20, cruising to win

his first Masters at 21, while confronting American elitism and racism on

the golf course, which elevated his own role, his symbolism and his

responsibilities, whether he wanted it or not.


TIGER WOODS, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: Every time I go to a major country club,

I always feel it. You can always sense it. People are always staring at

you. What are you doing here? You shouldn`t be here.


MELBER: Woods` relationship to American racism and identity is very


His very first Nike ad took it head on. And like other big moments in his

career, it combined an undeniably strong performance with these issues in

civil rights, as well as, yes, self-interest, because it was a sports

advertising campaign to make money, alongside these larger and significant


Hello, world, are you ready for me and everything that he represented?

So, whatever the motivations, as everyone, as we just heard, prays for Mr.

Woods` safety, there`s really no doubt that many others have been inspired

by him over the years.












MELBER: This huge influence and journey would be enough of a story, plus

the road to winning the Masters five times.

Yet Woods also famously found himself on a rise and fall. He faced arrests

and personal hardship, and then came all the way back recently, winning the

Masters again in 2019. Some commentators dub it the greatest comeback in

the history of sports.


WOODS: I have battled. I have tried to try to hang in there and I have

tried to come back and play, play the great game of golf again.

I have been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to do it again.


MELBER: Bill Rhoden covered Tiger`s career as a columnist for "The New

York Times." He`s a columnist for ESPN`s The Undefeated.

Good to have you back, sir.


MELBER: I`m good.

Now, you know why we called you tonight, sir. Do you know why we called


RHODEN: Tell me.

MELBER: I will tell you.


MELBER: Because we come to you when something is about sports, that you

know better than anybody, and yet also about more than sports.

We have covered this, obviously, for Mr. Woods` health. We have covered the

latest with the doctor and the experts. And yet there`s so much more here

any time Tiger Woods` name comes up in America around the world. Why is he

more than an athlete?


Man, there are so many thoughts going through. First of all, A, I just hope

he`s all right. Just I`m echoing what everybody else said.

MELBER: Yes. Yes.

RHODEN: Beyond the legacy, I was thinking, I wonder what Tiger is thinking

now? You know what I`m saying? What`s going through his mind now?

I`m sure he`s thinking about his son, his daughter. Am I going to be able

to walk again? Am I going to be able to play golf? Probably not am I going

to catch -- am I going to win another Major? Am I going to win -- probably,

it`s very fundamental things. God, am I -- and when you get beyond that, so

it`s up to us to put him in perspective.

And as soon as I heard this stuff, man, I mean, I was thinking of Kobe

Bryant, because we`re only like a year or so removed from that. And I was

thinking, oh, man, this is just such a season of loss. How do you put this

in perspective?

Please, God, let him be OK. Tiger may be the most significant golf athlete

we have ever seen, because of everything you have just shown, what he`s

meant to everybody else, people of color, young people, people who

traditionally are outside the country club.

And I think that`s the foundation of our country is, you always have a

shot. That`s the way it should be. That`s the basis of the whole

immigration policy. Everybody in this country has a shot.

If you`re Tiger Woods, if you`re a young kid who`s multiracial, not

necessarily a country club kid, you have a shot. And I think that is what

was been so great about Tiger Woods. And not only did he have a shot. He`s

redefined golf. He`s redefined how courses are laid out.

And then, like you said, when he won the Masters, it kind of reminded me

when Muhammad Ali lit the Olympic Torch in 1996 at the Games. And in that

moment, a lot of people may have been pissed off at Ali because of his

stance against the war, things like that. In that moment, he was able to

come all the way back and become this American hero, icon, because that`s

what we love.

We love that man coming back from the ashes, when people had you buried and

dead, and here you come stronger than ever. And that`s what Tiger was in

2019. That`s what he continues to be.

And then, on top of that, he took his fair shots, and he made his share of

mistakes, lots of mistakes. I was there to count them.

But the idea, man, that you just have this will that I`m just going to keep

going. I`m not going to be buried.


RHODEN: I`m not going to let you bury me. I`m going to come back...


MELBER: Well, let me show you. He -- yes, he displayed that throughout his

career. The discipline is legendary.

And we saw that, as mentioned, on sports, but also in dealing with racism

in that sport of golf and dealing with all of this, while there was still,

of course, questions within and beyond different minority communities in

the United States about how he identified and how he evolved through that.

Of course, it was thrust on him from teenage years on. Here he was back in

the day with Oprah. Take a look.


OPRAH WINFREY, PRODUCER/PHILANTHROPIST: You also get hate mail. I hear you

insist upon reading it. Why?

WOODS: Well, it reminds me what I have to try and do.

As people know, golf has been kind of an elitist sport. And, unfortunately,

it`s kind of a closed sport.

WINFREY: It wasn`t until about six years ago the Augusta National even

allowed people of color.

WOODS: Exactly, a black member, yes. And clubs still practice that. And,

unfortunately, I have had to deal with all growing up.

I got kicked off of golf courses numerous times, been called some pretty

tough words to my face.


MELBER: Bill, how did he lead and evolve within a country that needed to

evolve, but, as mentioned, not always within a universal or monolithic

reception from different communities, because he was figuring that out?

RHODEN: Yes, that`s a great way to put it, Ari.

He was figuring it out.

And as I was thinking about this today and his legacy and that kind of

stuff -- and, again, I have been sort of getting nostalgic about Muhammad

Ali, because we`re coming up on the 50th anniversary of his great fight

with Ali -- I mean, with Joe Frazier, 1971 fight.

And the reality is that Tiger -- I mean, Muhammad Ali is beloved. He`s

beloved. He`s beloved because of how he stood up for the black community.

He`s beloved, and there was never any ambiguity with Ali. He`s beloved

because of his strong stance against -- anti-war.

I think Tiger is evolving. I don`t know if he`s, like, beloved like that.

But, as you saw that clip with Oprah, racism is real. And he just said --

he just told you the facts. But he never -- Tiger never -- he never dwelt

on it. That was not kind of part of his thing.

He basically -- he -- the sports cliche, I will let my golf do my talking

for me, that`s what he did. He`s clearly -- if he was not to play another

round of golf -- and I hope not. I hope he plays many more rounds of golf.

If he doesn`t play another round of golf, in my book, he is golf. He is

golf. He is maybe one of the greatest golfers this sport has ever met

because of a lot of different things, not because of his ability to drive,

but just what he has done for that sport. It`s immeasurable. It`s really


And, today, man, I`m just praying for him, just that he`s -- that he`s just

OK, because I can`t wait to see what he`s going to do in the next 30 years.

Who knows what he`s going to do in the next 30 years? He`s on such a great


You know, it was good to hear that maybe the injuries were not life-

threatening and that he`s going to be OK. But that`s where I am. I just

want him to be OK. And I just can`t wait to see the rest of -- him write

the rest of these chapters.

MELBER: Well, everyone is rooting for him.

I`m not going to go toe to toe on sports history with you, sir. I wouldn`t



MELBER: But something he does have in common...


MELBER: No, I wouldn`t. I won`t do it. I won`t even pretend to do it.

But -- that`s what you`re here for.

But the parallels with Ali, of course, also remind us of why people are

motivated by sports beyond just the game or who won the game that day, the

inspiration and the motivation of discipline and resilience. Ali left the

ring, got back in the ring. Some people felt at the end they were concerned

he got back in the ring too many times.

But people who get back up when they -- when we know and we saw, and, boy,

your inspiration is needed tonight, when we saw how banged up the car was

and we know how hurt he was. And we all, at a time when we`re going through

COVID and anything else, want to remember that any single human can really

get back up and do a lot when they believe in themselves and when they stay

fit and try to pursue health.

I think that is bigger than the field. So, Bill, thank you for being here

tonight. I`m wrapping up our hour.

And we will have to have you back to talk Ali again when these

anniversaries come up, sir.

RHODEN: OK, my pleasure.

Tom Brady, one more.


MELBER: There you go.

Bill Rhoden, telling us where he stands, as always.

I want to thank him. I want to thank all of our experts.

We are moving through, of course, this breaking news on Tiger Woods.

But there`s one more thing we want to show you tonight. As I mentioned,

there`s a lot going on.

Well, moments ago, Speaker Pelosi holding a moment of silence to

commemorate the more than 500,000 lives lost to COVID in the United States.

We covered the White House ceremony last evening, 500 candles lining the

steps, Speaker Pelosi joined by leadership across the spectrum, Congressman

McCarthy, the Republican leader, Senator Schumer, and Republican Leader


It`s a solid moment that we see there at the Capitol. It`s a time when the

United States, of course, has been marking this in many different ways.

We watched last night and covered as President Biden and Vice President

Harris and their spouses came out to the front of the White House and also

did the commemoration.

And, as noted, these commemorations should not and are not political in any

way. They are just a time for us to try to get our minds and our hearts

around the magnitude of the deaths in the United States and around the

world from COVID, as we continue to deal with that crisis.

As mentioned, we have also been covering a news conference and the news out

of the Tiger Woods hospitalization after that car crash. We will continue

to keep that coverage going for you tonight on MSNBC.

Thank you, as always, for watching THE BEAT. I will be back tomorrow at

6:00 p.m. Eastern.





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