Woods’ Apology: Too Little, Too Late?

Three months after allegations of infidelity surfaced during Thanksgiving weekend, Tiger Woods appeared before a select crowd to offer an apology for his indiscretions. “I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did was unacceptable and I am the only person to blame,” he said.
He went on to ask for forgiveness from his fans and asked the media to leave his family alone. “Whatever my wrongdoings, for the sake of my family, please leave my wife and kids alone,” he pleaded.
While Woods’ mea culpa was judged sincere by the public at large, according to several instant, unscientific polls, some commentators questioned the circumstances surrounding his statement.
Lauren Bloom, author of The Art of the Apology, says, “Saying ‘I’m sorry’ in a tightly controlled environment makes it look more and more like an exercise in ‘let’s check the box and do what my PR people tell me to do.’”
Woods did not take questions after his remarks at the headquarters of the Professional Golfers Association in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
He plans to return to a Mississippi sexual rehabilitation clinic and while he stated his intention to eventually return to professional golf, he said he did not know when that will happen. While his temporary absence has been considered a big blow to the financial well-being of the Tour, PGA officials say it will have little effect on its overall health and consider the state of the economy to be a larger concern, especially with the bankruptcy filings of perennial sponsors General Motors and Chrysler.
Woods, who many believe will one day become the all-time leader in major championships won, drew a lot of criticism from fellow competitors for making the statements in the middle of the Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona. (Woods is a former spokesman for Accenture, but was dropped after the scandal surfaced.) “It’s selfish,” says South African golfer Ernie Els. “You can write that. I feel sorry for the sponsor…. This takes a lot away from the golf tournament.”
Others, such as American Stewart Cink, offered their support. “It’s a big part of the process to go through that difficulty and to face up to what’s happened,” says Cink. “And especially the hurt that other people are feeling, his friends and family.”
Meanwhile, several of his mistresses have come out demanding personal apologies from the golfing champion for the unwanted attention the scandal has brought them. Veronica Siwik-Daniels, a former pornographic performer, said, “I really feel I deserve to look at him in person face to face in the eyes because I did not deserve this.”

For more information see the CQ Researcher report “Sex Scandals” (Jan. 22, 2010), by Alan Greenblatt.