Why Tiger Owes the World an Apology
Tiger shouldn’t apologize; he doesn’t owe us anything.
Tiger Woods does not owe us an apology.
Even with his indiscretions, Tiger doesn’t owe us anything. Lies!
Those are all headlines from well-known sports columnists and other social bloggers. And to them in all their infinite wisdom, I again say, lies!
Here’s the problem I have with all the people who say that Tiger’s affairs are nobody’s business but his and his wife’s. They are basing their opinion on the premise that the only person affected by Tigers indiscretions was his wife. When Tiger cheated on his wife, he hurt and betrayed more than just Elin. He hurt and betrayed his children; his mother and father (even in his death); her mother and father; his friends; her friends; his acquaintances; her acquaintances; everyone who sang his praises; everyone who believed the façade he portrayed.
And Tiger is a public figure, whether he wants to be or not. His business partners paid him millions of dollars for him to be an appropriate, responsible representation of their brands. If it were widely known that Tiger was a womanizer, having indiscriminate and seemingly random sex, do you think Nike would have used him as their front man? What about Gatorade? And Buick? After having collectively paid him billions of dollars, are you telling me this is only between Tiger and his wife? Lies!
And what about his employees? What about the people who worked for his foundation? What about the people who volunteered with his foundation? Are you telling me they were not impacted by Tiger’s affairs? Are you telling me they don’t deserve an apology? Wake up and help yourself to a huge slice of humble pie!
This is what I think. Those of you who feel that Tiger doesn’t owe anyone an apology but his wife probably have wronged the people in your own life in some significant way. You’re probably a cheater too and was too arrogant to apologize to everyone who deserved an apology. If Tiger had failed to offer an apology, that would have validated your own arrogance and irresponsibility; you would have felt a level of solidarity with him; he would have been initiated into the ‘boys club’. But the fact that he did apologize should have shamed you into acknowledging your own shortcomings. But rather than rethinking your actions, you argued that he shouldn’t have apologized. Don’t hate because Tiger was man enough to apologize and you weren’t.
Now, while you are still being held in bondage by your arrogance, Tiger has made the first step in a gallant way to making amends with the people whom he has offended. Now he can pick up the pieces of his shattered ‘golden boy’ persona and start to move on.
Speaking of moving on, that’s the other reason Tiger owes us all an apology… because he felt he does.
Ok, here’s something about me. I have a very sharp tongue. I know it is hard to believe but I have been known to slice and dice people’s feelings up in a matter of seconds and not even blink an eye. Today, the older and wiser Teowonna is a little slower to offend and a lot quicker to apologize. Wanna know why? Because I am no match for my conscience; it wins every time. After a couple of rounds of black eyes, I learned that the quicker I sincerely apologize, the quicker I felt free to resume life without the burden of guilt. There were times in which I apologized even when the other person did not feel offended. I apologized because my actions and my words offended me; offended God. I imagine that’s how Tiger felt. He apologized because he had to.
Here’s something else about apologizing, when you apologize, it forces you to humble down long enough to feel the pain you caused other people. Remember how pitiful Tiger looked as he gazed into the eyes of the people who love and respected him? Do you think he ever truly felt their pain the way he felt it right then? His mother hugged him after the press conference, but did you notice that she never even looked at him during the entire 14-minute speech? Oh yeah, he owed more than Elin an apology.
And one more thing. If the rehab program that Tiger is in is worth its weight in peanuts, apologizing to those you have wronged is a requirement. The primary benefit of coming clean is not just for the people you offended, but for you, the offender.
So, I suggest you rethink your standing. Does Tiger owe us an apology? You better believe he does. But not for our benefit; for his. Edit
Hey Lady T. Not sure I totally agree....yes, apologies are golden when trying to free oneself from guilt; however, I have to think that owners of multi-billion dollar industries, i.e. Nike, Buick, etc. had some prior notion that Tiger, like all human beings, was born and prone to error. I think that they arleady knew how 'crazy' and 'rude' he could be on the golf course - cursing, throwing clubs, etc. I think his talent is what got them on board, not just his 'good image'... Real or imagined. Thanks T.
-Glenise Delete Reply
Tee! I disagree with a couple of your points. I still say that Tiger DOES NOT owe ME an apology. I am painfully aware how far reaching the hurt from Tiger’s offenses is. I do not fall into any of the categories that you mention- I’m not his wife, his child, his mom, or his deceased father. I’m not a friend of his or Elin’s and not even an acquaintance. I did sing praises about his GOLF SKILLS but I didn’t make any assumptions about his ethics. I understand that as a celebrity and a professional athlete his public image is a representation to be displayed to the public at large. Everyone outside of those categories is considered the public at large and Tiger Woods does not owe the public at large an apology.
Now let’s talk business and take the emotion out of it. He doesn’t owe his sponsors an apology either. He had contracts with his business partners. If his contracts did not include ethics clauses he doesn’t owe them any money either. He damaged his brand and consequently affected theirs. I imagine that there is some type of legal recourse for the sponsors, but unless they successfully sue him for breaching an ethics clause or damaging their brand and then demand an apology as part of restitution- he does not owe them an apology either. None of them would demand an apology because they cannot translate an apology into currency and an apology would not benefit them.
We are not privy to the details of Mr. Woods’ contracts with his business partners to know if there were ethics clauses, but again, Buick, Nike and Gatorade may want to consider background checks on the people they enter into contracts with in the future. (These weren’t Mr. Woods’ first indiscretions, just the first time he was caught- believe that.) In my line of work, I have gone through several, in-depth, invasive background investigations to determine my suitability and public trustworthiness to work for the federal government. Anyone who enters into a contract with another party has a responsibility to perform their due diligence and make sure that they know who and what they are dealing with. That said Tiger does not owe his business partners an apology either.
As for his employees and the people who worked for his foundation? Really? Everyone in our society is affected every time someone commits an offense against morality. Should we spend our valuable time expecting and then entertaining apologies? This brings me to the point on which you and I seem to agree, “The primary benefit of coming clean is not just for the people you offended, but for you, the offender.”
So, I don’t think Tiger Woods owes me (and the public at large) an apology. I have NOT wronged people in my life in some significant way; in fact the opposite is true. But I am not a victim, so I don’t expect nor wait for apologies nor do apologies make me feel better. Apologies just give the offender even more time, space and control over your life. I’m not a cheater and when I offend people, I apologize for hurting them not necessarily for the offense. Apologies only temporarily ease the victim’s ego and only serve the offender. They don’t take away the offense or the pain. Apologizing doesn’t make Tiger Woods “man enough”. Apologizing to a camera (and not taking questions) is easy. As a writer you know that you can write something to the public at large that you might not say in a room alone with someone you love. You know how people go on national television to air their dirty laundry? What is the first question that the surprised person asks? “You couldn’t tell me this at home?” No, Tiger Woods’ public apology was far from gallant.
So again, we agree that apologizing benefits Tiger Woods. I just don’t feel a need to participate in his ‘recovery’. Delete Reply
Yes Nike, Gatorade, etc know that we all are human and we all fallible. However, I don't think it was their expectation that Tiger or any of their business partners would represent them in this way. Yes, you and I both know that golf can make you very frustrated... especially when you have millions of dollars riding on your tee shot. But the last time we played and you got frustrated, did you go out and screw 18 different men? Throwing a club or cursing is one thing... what Tiger did is quite another... and has nothing to do with the frustration of golf. Delete Reply
Anonymous: Did you read my blog at all? I didn't find Tiger's statement entertaining nor inspirational. I thought it was kind of pitiful, actually. And I didn't say every man who cheats has to apologize publically. I ultimately said Tiger owes the world an apology because HE felt the he did... not because I felt he did. If John Edwards can sleep at night without apologizing to those he wronged, then he isn't as human as I thought. For me, I won't have any trouble sleeping tonight after this blog. No apology necessary and none rendered. Delete Reply
OK... so everyone disagrees with me? Let me reiterate that Tiger owes the world an apology not because we are demanding or expecting one, but because he felt he did.
ATW Girl, please let's take the emotion out of it and read what I said... Tiger needed to apologize for his own benefit, not ours. Being a member of the media, it was punkist to have a press conference and not take questions. But the act of apologizing is gallant. And in my opinion, it does make you more of a man when you acknowlegde your wrongdoing and apologize rather than not.
SOROR Krystel: Et tu, Brute? Delete Reply
Tee! I did take the emotion out (line 6)…acknowledging your wrongdoing and apologizing could make one a better PERSON, but again, it’s for the offender’s benefit – does little for the offended. As part of his recovery, he needs to apologize, I get it. I still say that he doesn’t need to apologize publicly because everybody’s not interested in participating in his recovery.
I can disagree, but we both know you’re right, right? ;-) Delete Reply
I read most of your blogs. You were much more forgiving and sympathectic toward the transgressions of Mark Sanford. An elected official who misappropriated tax-dollars in order to fund his adultrious activities. Interesting.... I personally feel he did the right thing in issuing an apology, I also feel he did the right thing in not taking questions. I would have been fine with him not saying a word, and just coming back and winning golf tournaments. That actually would have made my day. I'm appaled at how much as a society we feel "entertainers" owe us an explanation for everything. Just my two cents. Delete Reply
Hey Thurmond. Thank you for reading and commenting. I don't think I was more sympathetic to Mark Sanford. As a matter of fact, I said let's keep him around for strategic purposes... let him spend his final year in office making it up to us. But as I recall, Mark was very quick to apologize after he got caught.
I'm not for or against Tiger. But I am glad he felt the need to apologize. Not for society's sake, but his own. Delete Reply
Tiger doesn't owe me an apology. I don't know him, nor does he know me. It does confirm my belief that those who are way overpaid than the pros of yesteryear seem to think they're untouchable. But remember this, the LORD giveth and he also taketh away. When you are so blessed with a talent and choose to use your status in a negative way, don't think for one moment he will take you down like the titanic, to remind you of who you are and where you come from and to put you back in your place. It could have really been worse... Delete Reply