Monday, February 22, 2010

The Tiger Lays an Egg

Vulnerable? Yes. Disciplined? Yes. Cold? Also, yes.

While Tiger Woods’ public apology — “I had affairs. I was unfaithful. I cheated.” — was possibly truthful and certainly forthcoming, it was delivered as if he were a robot communicating zero on the feelings scale. Nowhere did I hear expressions of deep remorse or how much he loved his wife and family; rather, he sounded as if he were duty-bound to make this confession … as if this calculated step were a prerequisite for the next calculated step in his plan for redemption.

When I saw a TV interview with his Buddhist priest, it all came together. Tiger had veered too far from Buddhism in recent years, he advised, and the priest confirmed. The priest stated that the first step needed to be a strong, truthful confession of all the misdeeds, and only then could progress be made.

Despite some anecdotal criticism of his apology directed at “his PR handlers,” to me the talk sounded like something written and directed by a Buddhist advisor, perhaps even the priest. The austere surroundings. The decision not to answer questions — which would be in keeping with the confessional first step. The priestly, “I’m meeting my commitment,” tone.

I recognize that The New York Times and many others have praised what he did and held Tiger up as a role model against others who did not make a high-profile public apology (such as Mark Sanford, Governor of South Carolina, and John Edwards, presidential aspirant). I disagree. There are also those who claim that since he is not an elected official, he had no responsibility to publically apologize. I disagree. Anyone who becomes a star and accepts endorsement money has an obligation to the public.

We live in a world of engagement. Tiger did not engage his audience.

Whether you like the word transparency or not, who knows how Tiger really feels? He refused to answer questions, and that is anything but transparent. This situation, which could have been put to bed with a quality performance, will haunt Tiger for some time. He may not be answering questions now, but he will have to face the music whenever he returns to golf.

Technorati Tags: Tiger Woods,
unfaithful, apologize,Mark Sanford, John Edwards


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