By Gregory Moore
Saying you’re sorry is never supposed to be easy.
And it’s never supposed to be ‘perfect’ either.
So when Eldrick ‘Tiger’ Woods took to a small podium in Ponte Verde, Florida, home of the TPC Sawgrass course, he took it alone.
An image consultant, his agent, lawyer and his wife didn’t flank him.
He wasn’t dressed in some high expensive suit.
He came out in a simple sports coat, slacks and dress shirt and read from a prepared statement.
Now some will argue that this was rehearsed and that it was staged. I’m sure the Golf Writers Association of America would have wanted things different but the last time I checked, thirteen years ago nobody really gave a flip about this sport to begin with.
But there is one thing that I do know from this event; Tiger Woods’ apology was better than anything I would have expected from an athlete of today.
How could I saw that when there are PR gurus saying this was a disaster that his image is shot? How could I make this proclamation when one commentator said that a couple more appearances like this and Woods would be Pee Wee Herman?
He’s Tiger Woods.
Okay let me clarify this a little further.
What Woods did was show his contrition about his actions. He publicly owned up to his mistakes.
What he also did was to stand up for his wife, his marriage and his family; something not too many athletes do these days.
Let me take you back to the Kobe Bryant situation.
The day that Bryant gave his press conference, his wife was by his side.
Did anyone notice what she was wearing as she ‘sat’ by her man?
A $4 million purple diamond.
Did that mean that Bryant was sincere?
Not in the least.
I’ll go to Michael Jordan as an example too.
When Jordan finally divorced Juanita, does anyone know what the real reason was for the marriage break up?
Jordan himself. And he paid for it because at $150 million or more, that’s not an “I want to start fresh” sum of money but a “I want to be free” settlement.
Yet both Jordan and Kobe are still well liked by many and those two have been whore hounds a lot longer than Woods has been.
Yet as we all know, Woods is probably the most celebrated athlete because he is the most dominant; even when he isn’t winning.
But what it seems to me is that Woods is also a lot smarter than other athletes who get caught with their hand in the nookie jar.
Woods is smarter because even though you may not believe in what he said; he said all the right things.
That’s critical in any apology because saying the right things usually means you will want to do the right things as well.
What was definitely the right thing to say was that his apology to his wife will be met by actions not words and that came from his wife to him; not the other way around.
Whether women believe that or not shouldn’t be the issue here.
None of us are or have been in this situation and to say that a woman will not go back with a cheating spouse is putting words in every woman’s mouth; which is wrong. It also makes women out to be victims when there are men who get cheated on and yet nobody is out there pointing that out.
When Woods stood up against the tabloids and gossip writers in his statement that bode well for him as well I think.
A good friend, Trish DeBerry Mejia said yesterday on a local show that Tiger’s biggest problem was that others were crafting his words and dictating what was being said and she’s 1,000,000 percent correct on that issue. Because Woods didn’t come out immediately on a camera and address the issue, others crafted the story. But what Woods did today was to start taking back control of this story and by him ‘attacking’ the gossip segment of the media; he sort of started reeling in the rumors to some extent.
In the end however it is going to be the actions of Woods, not this public apology, which will reshape how people think about him.
I’m not talking about him winning on the golf course again because that’s not really what this is about.
If Woods is able to not only save his marriage but also make a comeback as both a father and husband, the true winners in all of this won’t be us the fans but his family.
That is why I think this apology may be the cornerstone to something even greater; even if that means we may never see him on the PGA tour in 2010.