Those are all headlines from well-known sports columnists and other social bloggers. And to them in all their infinite wisdom, I again say, lies!
Here’s the problem I have with all the people who say that Tiger’s affairs are nobody’s business but his and his wife’s. They are basing their opinion on the premise that the only person affected by Tigers indiscretions was his wife. When Tiger cheated on his wife, he hurt and betrayed more than just Elin. He hurt and betrayed his children; his mother and father (even in his death); her mother and father; his friends; her friends; his acquaintances; her acquaintances; everyone who sang his praises; everyone who believed the façade he portrayed.
And Tiger is a public figure, whether he wants to be or not. His business partners paid him millions of dollars for him to be an appropriate, responsible representation of their brands. If it were widely known that Tiger was a womanizer, having indiscriminate and seemingly random sex, do you think Nike would have used him as their front man? What about Gatorade? And Buick? After having collectively paid him billions of dollars, are you telling me this is only between Tiger and his wife? Lies!
And what about his employees? What about the people who worked for his foundation? What about the people who volunteered with his foundation? Are you telling me they were not impacted by Tiger’s affairs? Are you telling me they don’t deserve an apology? Wake up and help yourself to a huge slice of humble pie!
This is what I think. Those of you who feel that Tiger doesn’t owe anyone an apology but his wife probably have wronged the people in your own life in some significant way. You’re probably a cheater too and was too arrogant to apologize to everyone who deserved an apology. If Tiger had failed to offer an apology, that would have validated your own arrogance and irresponsibility; you would have felt a level of solidarity with him; he would have been initiated into the ‘boys club’. But the fact that he did apologize should have shamed you into acknowledging your own shortcomings. But rather than rethinking your actions, you argued that he shouldn’t have apologized. Don’t hate because Tiger was man enough to apologize and you weren’t.
Now, while you are still being held in bondage by your arrogance, Tiger has made the first step in a gallant way to making amends with the people whom he has offended. Now he can pick up the pieces of his shattered ‘golden boy’ persona and start to move on.
Speaking of moving on, that’s the other reason Tiger owes us all an apology… because he felt he does.
Ok, here’s something about me. I have a very sharp tongue. I know it is hard to believe but I have been known to slice and dice people’s feelings up in a matter of seconds and not even blink an eye. Today, the older and wiser Teowonna is a little slower to offend and a lot quicker to apologize. Wanna know why? Because I am no match for my conscience; it wins every time. After a couple of rounds of black eyes, I learned that the quicker I sincerely apologize, the quicker I felt free to resume life without the burden of guilt. There were times in which I apologized even when the other person did not feel offended. I apologized because my actions and my words offended me; offended God. I imagine that’s how Tiger felt. He apologized because he had to.
Here’s something else about apologizing, when you apologize, it forces you to humble down long enough to feel the pain you caused other people. Remember how pitiful Tiger looked as he gazed into the eyes of the people who love and respected him? Do you think he ever truly felt their pain the way he felt it right then? His mother hugged him after the press conference, but did you notice that she never even looked at him during the entire 14-minute speech? Oh yeah, he owed more than Elin an apology.
And one more thing. If the rehab program that Tiger is in is worth its weight in peanuts, apologizing to those you have wronged is a requirement. The primary benefit of coming clean is not just for the people you offended, but for you, the offender.
So, I suggest you rethink your standing. Does Tiger owe us an apology? You better believe he does. But not for our benefit; for his.