Tiger Woods did not have to apologize. Saying “I’m sorry” was certainly the expedient and wise choice, but Tiger did not have to say anything publicly. He chose to apologize. And because he did, he owes us an explanation. We’ll never get it.
When I was a child, the first question my mother asked after I apologized for something was, “Why are you sorry?” If I was unable to explain what I did wrong, there was no point to a self-serving apology. My responsibility, however, was only to my mother. Unfortunately for Tiger, his responsibility falls to the millions of people he manipulated and swindled.
In Tiger Woods’ interview with ESPN, he responded to a question about the events of Thanksgiving, saying, “…everything is between Elin and myself, that’s private.” Tiger was asked, “Why did you lose control of the car?” Tiger responded, “As I said, that’s between Elin and myself.” And finally, in response to a question about why he was in treatment, Tiger said, “That’s a private matter as well.”
If Tiger Woods felt this was all a private matter, then making a public apology at all was egomaniacal and pointless. Tiger doesn’t feel he owes anyone anything. If there was genuine regret and an authentic desire for redemption, then Tiger would look people in the eye and tell us exactly what happened. Tiger is more concerned with his legacy and income, much like Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGwire were in front of congress.
A man that made his entire fortune on his image in order to sell products to us should understand that their privacy standards are not the same as the general population. The argument that Tiger Woods has a right to his privacy is valid, but only if he never decided to go public in the first place. The fact that Tiger did go public, but didn’t explain anything, shows that he’s still the manipulative control freak that got into this nightmare.
There is no endgame to this article. Tiger is a phenomenal athlete. He is the best to ever play his sport, and we will continue to watch. There will be the people that will always love him. There will be the “Josh Hamilton Fan Club” cheering his comeback from his own self-inflicted downfall. And there will be those who will never forgive him. Whatever category you fall into, don’t pretend for a second that Tiger cares about anyone but himself.