Can Tiger Really Change?
Watching Tiger Woods televised apology has me doubting his sincerity.
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.