Can Tiger Really Change?

Watching Tiger Woods televised apology has me doubting his sincerity.

Can Tiger Really Change?

Watching Tiger Woods televised apology has me doubting his sincerity.

-Kathy Campbell

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods addressed the media — and the world today — in a televised speech that we have all been waiting for since his Thanksgiving night car crash and news of his cheating scandal broke.

In a long, prepared speech, Tiger, wearing a button-down shirt, dark jacket and a solemn expression, apologized, repeatedly saying things like “I’ve let you down personally and professionally” and “I know I have bitterly disappointed all of you and for all that I have done I am sorry.” These points were, of course, punctuated by a direct look to the camera.

Tiger — whose wife, Elin, was not present — looked tired, a little bloated, very serious, somewhat guarded, and to be honest, like a kid who’s been caught with his hand in the cookie jar and knows he has to say he’s sorry (but deep down knows he enjoyed those cookies). It reminded me a little of Governor Mark Sanford, who also got caught cheating, eventually got round to apologizing, and whose wife was also not present when he gave his public mea culpa.

I wasn’t moved by Tiger’s 13-minute speech. The setting was very orchestrated. Tiger stood at a podium, a typed speech in front of him. There were handpicked onlookers seated in front of him, including his mother, who alternately had her arms folded or hands clasped throughout his speech. Her, I felt sorry for.

There was no opportunity for a journalist to ask Tiger questions. (Imagine how different this speech would have been if they had… Or if he’d sat down with Barbara Walters or Oprah…) His delivery was emotionally restrained and he seemed somewhat uncomfortable, except for the times when he took aim at the media. Tiger said it angered him that people would fabricate stories about his wife beating him and stressed that there had never been an episode of domestic violence in his marriage. He also criticized the media for following his wife and kids.

“I don’t get to play by different rules,” Tiger said, but everything about this televised speech indicated otherwise to me. I doubt that Tiger even had a hand in writing his speech, so how could he really emotionally connect to the words he was saying?

Tiger admitted that he has been in treatment for 45 days and starting tomorrow, will leave for more treatment. He also said that he plans to return to golf one day, and didn’t rule out that happening this year.

Tiger also revealed that his failures had made him look at himself in a way that he never has before. I hope this is true. I also hope that through therapy he can break through the barriers that he has built up for himself over the years, get over his admitted sense of entitlement, look beyond the money and fame, and be the husband, father and role model that we all believed him to be.

But was today’s speech a step down the road to recovery and marital redemption or, as he has done throughout his career, was Tiger merely doing what was expected of him?

Tell us: What did you think of Tiger’s speech?

Kathy Campbell is BettyConfidential’s Executive Managing Editor.

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19 thoughts on “Can Tiger Really Change?

  1. I felt sorry for his mother too. I also think he never said I was not upholding the values my parents taught me. There are stories that his father behaved just like he has behaved. U also thought this was a speech for his male fans who would think this was enough of an apology and would play with them better than with women.

  2. I don’t think Tiger will ever change. Once a player, always a player. I just feel completely sorry for his wife. I do hope that therapy will at least make him a better person.

  3. I don't think Tiger will ever change. Once a player, always a player. I just feel completely sorry for his wife. I do hope that therapy will at least make him a better person.

  4. ok, so I listened to his prepared statement. I don’t get what the therapy and treatment are supposed to do for him.. Is it that hard to just be a good person?
    He would have done better not to read from the script.

  5. There is a passage in the Bible that says, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. As such, who are we to scrutnize what Tiger or anyone else does? Who are we to say whether he is sincere or not? Who are we to say he can not change?What is this issue with the media wanting to be there? What kind of dumb questions are they entitled to ask? His apology should be to his God and his wife. They are the only ones for which he should be seeking forgivness.

  6. I have no reason to believe that Woods didn’t write his speech. Do people doubt that he writes the personal statements on his website too?

    @allets, Woods is a Buddhist, so who is “his God”? What’s with the biblical reference?

  7. who are we to judge, none of us is perfect. why don’t the prss and people like you look into your own mirror. I believed him and felt he was truly sorry and he was humble. get off his back already, enough you perfect idiots, get on with your life Tiger and the best of luck to you. Go forward and be true. Barbara Jensen

  8. this truly is between God, elin & tiger. tiger was never an emotion-emiting machine…even at best. he has always been stone cold & somber in interviews…why should this one be any different. leopards cannot change their spots…this i know to be true of cheating men also. God bless & watch over the woods family & give them the strength they need to heal.

  9. I agree with “allets” comment. His apology should be taken at face value. Noone (except his wife maybe)is able to judge whether he is sincere or not. His actions in the future will either confirm or deny his sincerity. He SHOULD be angry at the press for following his wife and children, who did nothing wrong, and should be left alone. This public statement was aimed at the fans and kids to whom he was a role model. And rightly so. There was absolutely no reason the press needed to be there.

  10. K.S. I realize Tiger is Buddist which does not mean he does not worship a God. That is why I said “his God”. The Biblical reference should be self explanatory. Unless one is free of ever having committed a sin, they have no right to judge the misgivings of another. And for those who think it is not possible to change, it happens all the time. People have the ability to change, especially if not changing causes pain and agnony.

  11. First off I want to say…I only want to hear the comments from the people who have never…ever done anything wrong life…everybody here and i have made mistakes…and yes just because he is famous everybody makes a huge deal about it…..
    Yes I understand that he is supposed to be a role model to others, but have you ever had to be a role model to millions of people and believers and make a mistake. For us we just tend to move on with our lives, but because how people automatically hated him he is stuck with this mistake for the rest of his life.
    Everybody deserves a second chance and a chance to change… he cant do any of that, if WE DONT LET HIM. we all saw his mother and how upset she was and we all saw that His wife wasn

  12. I believe that he was sorry he got caught but NOT sorry that he did it. That he did not use protection and sujected Elin to sexually transmitted diseases proves that he is a narcissist and that he has no consideration for anyone but himself. He is a hollow shell of a man.

  13. you guys need to give Tiger Woods a chance to change back to who he was when he met Elin. He knows he made a mistake. Why do you think he is going for therapy and quitting golf to focus on his family and his future that includes being still married to Elin. Its completely up to Elin not you guys. Elin is the one that has the key to this whole ordeal and she has the right to put an end to this but she rather see if Tiger means it which I know in my heart. He does. So BACK OFF.

  14. allets, is there some reason to believe that Tiger worships any god?

    “Unless one is free of ever having committed a sin, they have no right to judge the misgivings of another.” Did you mean “misgivings”? Maybe you meant “misdeeds” or something like that. Anyway, what gives you the right to judge people who are offering their opinions on Tiger?

  15. I can’t stand all this God business. What God is being referred to? The Christian God? The Jewish God? Allah? Ahura Mazda? The Great Spirit?

    Cheaters don’t quit cheating, any more than wife/girlfriend beaters quit beating. Too many men think they can get away with all kinds of trash, and he’s one of them. Maybe he’ll be a little more discreet and call an escort service to send someone to his hotel room when he’s on the road. You know, of course, if he was really sorry, he wouldn’t have needed a speech to read from. And he didn’t get down to the nitty gritty and say: “I cheated on my wife with many women and betrayed the trust of my children. I’ve behaved like utter trash.” Speak from his heart…
    if he has one, which I, for one, doubt.
    I don’t think he loves his wife — look at the STDs he could have brought home. I don’t think he loves his kids, either, or he wouldn’t have so jeopardized what they had every reason to believe was their happy home. Elin should take those kids and move to the house she bought on an island off Sweden that can only be accessed by boat.

  16. @efrangip4001: “I myself still Believe in Tiger woods and love him as he is. A human being someone who has made mistakes, and asked for forgiviness.
    Tiger woods I stand by your side.”

    So naive.

  17. “He knows he made a mistake.”

    He made 14 of them for as long as he could with each. Now they want an apology, too, but they knew he was married and didn’t have to lie down for him.

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