By Jake McCormick
Amidst the sprinkles of a return to Buddhism, his anger at paparazzi-driven media outlets, and a denial of using performance-enhancing drugs, Tiger Woods’ public statement Friday morning serves as an important lesson for MLB steroid users, which they probably didn’t hear.
Woods did not disgrace the game he so thoroughly dominates, nor did he do anything that, realistically, should be the business of anyone other than those closest to him. But realizing he is the face of golf and thus an unintentional role model for kids, partly built on his ability to hide behind a supposedly flawless image, Woods took full personal responsibility for screwing up in his personal life.
– “I know I have bitterly disappointed all of you. I am embarrassed that I have put you in this position. I have a lot to atone for.”
– “I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did was unacceptable and I am the only person to blame.”
– “I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that the normal rules didn’t apply.”
– “I thought that I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled.”
– “I was wrong I was foolish. I don’t get to play by different rules. The same ones that apply to everyone, apply to me.”
– “I am deeply sorry for the irresponsible and selfish behavior I have engaged in.”
– “I have let you down. I have let down my fans.”
If any of the above statements had come from the mouths of Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmiero, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, or Sammy Sosa during an admission of guilty steroid use, the public wouldn’t forget they cheated on baseball, but they would surely begin remembering the good times the way they did before the truth came out.
McGwire and Co. did disgrace the game of baseball, yet continue to drop PR bombs of half-truths and vague apologies, which only serve to make their “admissions” that much more laughable. Woods put a lot of questions media members had to rest without having to field a single one. Every steroid admission has only raised more questions and made the user look that much more foolish (with the exception of A-Rod, who deciding a quick response was the best response). It doesn’t make sense to do prime time interviews if you’re the only one who thinks you’re making any progress.
Whether Woods changes anything is up to him, but the best conclusion we can draw from his 13-minute statement reading is that he understands the full consequences of his reckless behavior and knows what will happen if he fails to follow through on his word to “find his balance” within himself, so to speak. It’s just too bad the Woods PR team wasn’t contacted by baseball’s top juicers, because they clearly know the smoothest path to an athlete’s redemption is holding themselves accountable for their actions.Follow paulmbanks