Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hatchet Piece: The Tiger Woods Apology

Have you ever heard of the famous golfer Tiger Woods? He had a bunch of affairs, got caught, and went to sex rehab.

Yesterday, he offered a heartfelt and sincere apology. The text of that apology can be found here. Reading the statement in its entirety will cause the more sensitive among you to become overwhelmed with emotion, as you are made privy to the words of a man who has figuratively ripped open his own chest and exposed the gooey and tender feelings that reside within him. It really is just like that.

But I am a bit of a cynic, I suppose; I had a hard time feeling bad for him.
“Good morning and thank you for joining me. Many of you in this room are my friends, many in this room know me, may have cheered for me, worked with me or supported me, now everyone of you has good reason to be critical of me. I want to say to each of you simply and directly i am deeply sorry for my selfish and irresponsible behavior I have been engaged in. People want to know how i could have been so stupid and selfish.
No, people don't want to know that, Mr. Woods. People know why you were so "stupid and selfish." It's because you are a horny man who had the opportunity to sleep with literally dozens of women and you took advantage of that.

They have good reason to be critical of you because you are married and you have children who are looking to you as an exemplar of human behavior. And you showed them that men can get married and have children and still sleep around with women. As long as they're fabulously wealthy and go to sex rehab and apologize for it. Way to go, dad.
While I have always tried to be private, I have a few things to say. Elin and i have started to work though this. As she has told me, my real apology to her will not be in words but in action, however what we say to each other will be private. I am also aware of the pain I have caused everyone in this room I have let you down and let down my fans, for many my behavior has been a major disappointment, my behavior has caused considerable worry to my business partners ,and everyone involved in my business, but most importantly to the young people we influence, I apologize.
Mr. Woods, a man who always tries to be private does not go around sleeping with every semi-attractive waitress he encounters. A man who always tries to be private does not leave fumbling attempts at erotic voicemails on the phones of said semi-attractive waitresses. (Although I suppose the voice mail in which he suggested that one of his partners change her outgoing VM message so that if his wife called he would not hear her name probably counts as trying to be private.)

He subtly notes that his wife is "taking him back," by revealing that she's told him that his real apology will be through his actions. I suppose she means his actions from this point forward, since he has already shown by his past actions that he has no regard whatsoever for their marriage vows. His wife is, like Mr. Woods himself, showing her children that it's okay for a fabulously wealthy man to cheat on his wife with multiple women -- the woman unlucky enough to be chained to him by marriage will forgive him, as long as he proves through his actions that he's sorry.

That's for the young people he influences. The ones he apologizing to in this paragraph.
Millions of kids have changed their lives, due to the programs I am involved in, and I am still dedicated to that, but I still know I have bitterly disappointed all of you. I have made you question who I am and how I could have done these things. I am embarrassed that I have put you all in this position, for all I have done I am so sorry, I have a lot to atone for, but one issue I want to discuss. It has been said that Elin hurt me (on the night of the wreck) That angers me there had never been domestic abuse in our marriage, Elin had shown tremendous grace in this ordeal, she deserves praise not judgment.(Looking directly into the camera) I alone am responsible for this situation.
Did you know that Tiger Woods has a charity? If you forgot, he helpfully reminds you of that here. It helps children in some way. They change their lives because of programs he's involved with. Don't you people understand that??? He helps children change their lives.

Also, stop trying to humiliate my wife -- that's my job, and mine alone.
The issue here is that I cheated, I am the only person to blame. I stopped living according to my core values. I knew what i was doing was wrong but thought only about myself and thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to, I felt I was entitled. I had worked hard. Money and fame made me believe I was entitled. I was wrong and foolish. I don’t get to live by different rules. The same boundaries that apply to everyone apply to me. I hurt my mother, my wife, kids, friends my foundation. This has made me look at myself in a way I never wanted to again. It is time to make amends and that starts by never repeating this behavior again. Its not what you achieve in life that matters, it is what you overcome. Achievements on the golf course are not what matters, decency and honestly are what matter. Families used to look up to me as a role model to their kids, to those families I am so sorry. I have been in inpatient therapy, receiving guidance.
Mr. Woods, you stopped living according to your "core values" when you got married. Your "core values" are to have sex with many and varied waitresses and pornographic film actresses. And you know what? Good for you -- if that's what you want, you should go for it. You are in a rare and privileged position. You can literally have any woman you want. And you apparently want lots of them. If you hadn't gotten caught, you would still be doing it. You had an elaborate system in place to prevent your being caught. You knew what you were doing, Mr. Woods. Only someone who is living by his "core values" would be so thorough in his preparations to sleep with dozens of other women.

And, Mr. Woods, you felt entitled because you were entitled. That's the way our world works. It might not be fair, and those of us who don't have money and fame might think it's "unfair," but you know what? You have got to live your life the way you see fit. Just don't hurt anyone else (a wife, or children, for instance -- if you have those, then straighten the hell up) in the process.

By the way, what do you mean by "it's not what you achieve...it's what you overcome"? Mr. Woods, you are speaking as if this wasn't completely and entirely your fault. Like someone else slept with all those women, left those voicemails, and then framed you. For crying out loud, there would be nothing to "overcome" if you hadn't voluntarily gotten married and had children that would be hurt by your behavior.

This was entirely your fault.
I have a long way to go but have taken the right first steps. I understand the press wants details,(such as whether he and Elin will stay together, etc) but please know that as far as I am concerned all of these questions and answers are between Elin and me. Some have made up things that never happened they said that I took performance enhancing drugs that has never happened. I still believe it is right to shield my family. They did not do these things, I did, I have always tried to keep my wife and kids separate from my career, however my behavior does not make it right to follow my mom, wife, and follow my 2 yr old daughter to school and report the location. Please leave my wife and kids alone. I have brought this on myself. I have a lot of work to so and i intend to dedicate myself to doing it.
Mr. Woods's concern for his family is wonderful, but it is slightly disingenuous that it didn't occur to him until just now, you know, after he got caught cheating over and over and over. This wasn't just one woman, remember. This was dozens. This was behavior over a period of years. With safeguards in place to prevent his wife finding out so that he could continue said behavior for as long as possible. And now he wants to shield his family? Big of him.

He's mad at the paparazzi now. Because he made himself into a story. Also, uh, he didn't take "performance enhancing drugs"? Did someone accuse him of taking viagra or something?
Part of this for me is Buddhism. It teaches that craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security, it teaches me to stop following every impulse and practice restraint. Obviously, I lost track of what I was taught. Starting tomorrow, I will leave for more treatment and therapy. In therapy I have learned the importance of keeping spiritual life and professional life balanced. I need to regain my balance. I do plan to return to golf one day, I just don’t know when that day will be. I don’t rule out this year. When I do return I need to make my behavior more respectful of the game. I have received thousands of letters and emails to encourage me. To everyone who has reached out to me and my family, thank you. (He added that their encouragement was very helpful and appreciated) Thank PGA tour, it’s commissioners and players (for your support) and I look forward to seeing my fellow players on the course. Finally to the many people in this room and homes who believed in me, I ask for your help, I ask you to find room in your heart t one day believe in me again, thank you.”
Buddhism? Really? Is he Richard Gere all of a sudden? I don't know much about Buddhism, but if it teaches you that "craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security," then it sounds ridiculous. What about food? That's "outside ourselves"? And is there a religion that doesn't try to enforce some kind of pointless restraint? Most religion is about teaching denial to followers anyway (I don't want to get too political here), and denial is especially difficult when you're a wealthy superstar who can have everything he wants.

Your problem, Mr. Woods, was caused by the religious fetishism of self-denial. I'm not going to try to get inside your head, but you bought the whole "marriage" thing. Clearly, you didn't want to be married. You wanted to sleep around with dozens of women. But you gave in to marriage. And now look at you -- you're apologizing for behavior that should not be any of anyone's business.

By the way, I'd like to see some of these letters and emails of encouragement. Are there people out there who are worried about Mr. Woods enough to put pen to paper? "Stay the course, Tiger! We're pulling for you!" Or, more likely, "Hello, my name is Brandi and I work at Hooters in Atlanta. Next time you're down why not look me up? I won't tell anyone."

At least Mr. Woods has people encouraging him. He really needs that. Self-esteem issues are probably what drove him to sleep around in the first place.

1 comment:

shampoo said...

when tiger woods read his statement, I reflected on the past couple of weeks. mistresses had stopped being discovered and reporters had stopped looking for tiger... ah, the quiet.

I watched the "news" for three hours trying to find out about a real news story (not john mayer, lol) and ALL I heard were reactions to tiger's ridiculous statement.

your analysis is really good and better than any of the ones I heard. you should have been called, seriously. because that's the exact truth.

I think he married elin kind of as a trophy. clearly, he wants a hooters waitress (or 12). but, they don't fit in at the country clubs. i'm not saying he doesn't love elin... I have no idea... but, he wasn't ready for marriage.

thankfully, he's going for more "therapy". yay! another break.

I wonder what the rich people who run these clubs think of all of this? they're the only people who haven't weighed in... will they even let tiger return?