Saturday, February 20, 2010

Reaction to Tiger's Apology

Over the years, I’ve come to recognize that I’m a sucker for three things:

  • Movies about cute-but-mischievous family pets that die.
  • Songs featuring an acoustic guitar and harmonica.
  • Sincere apologies.

I believed Tiger Woods when he spoke to the media for the first time in nearly three months.

I’m not a golf fan, and I’m certainly not a Tiger Woods fan. In fact, for years I’ve been somewhat of a Tiger Woods critic, mainly because I knew it was irritating to family members who greeted every mention of his name with a fawning, doe-eyed expression (yeah, I can be a real jerk like that!). And along with everybody else in America I was disgusted by the continual revelations of his many revelries.

But the way many in the media are attacking his apology can only be described as arrogant and disgraceful.

Here’s the video of his mea culpa:

Religious issues aside, here are the most vociferous complaints I’ve heard so far:

  • He’s a control freak. People are upset at the way the whole thing was staged, but I think I understand that this was a sensitive moment that affected a lot of people. It needed to be controlled. And I’m not sure how much of this was Tiger and how much of it was his PR and legal team.
  • He didn’t take any questions. The questioning could quickly get out of hand and be damaging. Could he really risk taking questions from a sensationalist media? How long before he was asked about whether or not Elin beat the bejesus out of him with a golf club? How long before someone asked him to verify the rumors of threesomes? Or foursomes? Multisomes?
  • He wasn’t sincere. How do you know? Seriously, how can you tell? His mettle will be tested and proved over time, but I’m not comfortable judging his sincerity based on a 15 minute speech. To me he appeared broken and contrite.
  • He seemed so robotic. This is Tiger. I don’t know the guy, but I’ve always heard that this is his strong point. Cut the guy some slack, this was without question the most difficult thing he’s ever done in his life.
  • I wasn’t impressed. Ooooh, touch you! So, at his lowest point as he comes before the world to flay himself, he gets a demerit because he didn’t impress you! Wow, his PR team should’ve done more research into what it would take to impress you. This is the arrogance that prompted this rant.

Was it perfect? No. But I saw a man defending his wife against accusations of domestic abuse, blasting himself for being spoiled and feeling entitiled, and taking full responsibility for his actions.

I think that's a pretty good start.


Thomas said...

This is the first time I have watched this apology. I agree with your assessments and a lot of these complaints are just examples of how media has over saturated our culture. We've become so used to media over analyzing everything and picking apart people's honesty that we don't know what true contrition looks like anymore and don't trust anyone.

Kristin said...

I don't like the scrutiny that celebrities have when their lives fall apart like that. No one reacts well by public opinion standards, ever!! For that reason, I haven't paid attention to stories about Tiger since it originally came out. I didn't watch his apology either.

However, a good apology is exactly as you put it, is a "good start". He didn't have to say anything at all to the media, yet he chose to. Whether that was a PR stunt or sincere desire, time and his actions will tell. The good start simply points in the direction we hope his actions take him.