WHY SHOULD anyone care whether or not Tiger Woods had an African-American girlfriend? Or Asian, for that matter.

If he weren't already married, Woods would have the right to bed whatever flava floozy he chooses. If you ask me, he did some women a favor by not dragging Asian and African-American women through his extra-marital sleazefest.

Judging from the women who have stepped forward and staked their tawdry claims to Woods, the superstar golfer appears to have a preference for blondes or brunettes with slim physiques, amplified boobs and long hair.

So what?

The guy has a right to be attracted to whomever he likes.

Yeah, you could speculate as to what role self-esteem and racial stereotypes might have played in the kind of women Woods apparently lusted after. You could get bogged down theorizing about Woods' proverbial wandering eye and the relatively lesser status that African-American women historically have had in America. You could attempt to read something into why no Asian women have stepped forward and claimed that they, too, have slept with Woods.

But race really is besides the point in this particular drama. If a white man of his fame and stature had confessed to the same "transgressions," the ensuing saga would be every bit as big and scandalous - perhaps minus the errant Mandingo references and sistah-girl comparisons his wife, Elin, has been getting.

This brouhaha is about what can happen when the world's richest, most famous athlete strays, apparently multiple times, from his wife.

But try telling that to some folks.

An Associated Press headline from Sunday read "Tiger's Troubles Widens his Distance from Blacks." The story went on to say, "When three white women were said to be romantically involved with Woods in addition to his blonde, Swedish wife, blogs, airwaves and barbershops started humming, and Woods' already tenuous standing among many blacks took a beating."

Oh, really? And just what makes people think that Woods' reported choices in women came as a surprise to anyone? It's not as if black women collectively have claimed Woods in some big way.

Woods never played up his racial heritage, which was his right even though it irked those who would have loved to claim the world's greatest golfer as a member of their race. Woods' late father, Earl, was of African-American, Chinese and Native American heritage, and his mother of Thai, Chinese and Dutch, according to Wikipedia.

Tiger Woods, mostly because he seemed to want it that way, existed in his own category. It was as if he managed to transcend any major racial categorization by excelling at golf and by being, well, Tiger Woods. And just because Woods has brown skin or is a "Cablinasian" as he famously described himself once to Oprah Winfrey, doesn't mean that his taste in women has to be equally diverse.

The issue here is that Woods shouldn't have been sleeping with anyone besides his wife. The race of his jump-offs is irrelevant.

Send e-mail to heyjen@phillynews.com. My blog: http://go.philly.com/heyjen.