Friday, February 19, 2010

Tiger Repents

Today, the world witnessed the long-awaited apology by Tiger Woods, golfer extraordinaire and philanderer. In carefully enunciated phrases, Tiger said he was sorry, so very sorry, very sorry. He repeated himself. Almost ad nauseum, but not inappropriately. Tiger has plenty to be sorry for.

He let down his wife, to put it mildly. He let down his mother. He let down his fans. And he let down the PGA, which depended on him to draw people to the sport. In fact, before the sordid story of Tiger's personal life broke, the stories about him often concerned the fact that golf was losing popularity and he was the main reason people still had any interest. I'm exaggerating a little. But not much.

The best moment in Tiger's apology came when he acknowledged that he had believed the regular rules of behavior didn't apply to him. He said he had mistakenly thought his fame and fortunate entitled him to have affairs and generally act selfishly. The words were right, but Tiger's delivery sounded a little canned, as if he were mouthing phrases that had been drummed into him during the 45 days he recently spent in therapy for sex addiction.

More therapy will follow, Tiger said, and eventually maybe he'll play some golf. Meanwhile, he'd like people to respect his privacy. Can't say I blame him, though his long-held privacy policy obviously didn't succeed in keeping his past peccadillos private. Experts say that sex addiction is very difficult to cure. If Tiger strays again, I doubt he'll find his antics will remain private for long.

Tiger spoke slowly during his fourteen-minute apology. He read the words. The words were contrite. He may have meant them. He spoke before a friendly audience and took no questions. He seemed so controlled and robotic that I felt sorry for him. But I'm not convinced that he truly feels sorry about anything other than having been caught.

Am I being too hard on Tiger? If you haven't yet seen his apology, you can watch it and decide for yourself. Just go to and take a look.


  1. I'm not listening to his apology. First of all I don't believe there is such a thing as sex addiction. I think it was something invented by a man to explain selfish and bad behavior. It's not that I do have an ant-sized bit of compassion for the man, but most of my compassion is directed toward his family. What an ordeal they have gone through. Tiger is a smart man, and he had to know that his behavior would cause many people grief if they found out. So narcissistic is the word that keeps coming to mind. While studies show that it is normal behavior for a male to have sexual thoughts ever seven minutes, not all feel free to act upon them. bonnie

  2. Unfortunately, Tiger is not alone in thinking that his fame and status exemped him from society's moral and eithical standards. How many of our elected officials, corproate leaders, celebrities, etc. feel exempt and indulge in extra-marital affairs.