Something about Tiger Wood’s public apologies made me uncomfortable. It wasn’t him trying to justify his salacious behavior. It wasn’t him crying over disappointing his late father. It wasn’t his robotic and rehearsed tone. It was the apologies in general.
Woods doesn’t owe me an apology. He hits balls off a tee on a perfect patch of grass for a living. He doesn’t owe me, or the rest of the American public, any explanation for what he does while off the grass. His golf game does not depend on Tiger being a good husband or an acceptable role model.
I’m not condoning adultery or drug use. Cheating on your spouse remains one of the most insensitive and selfish acts a person can commit. What Woods did showed no consideration or compassion for his family. But, unlike Roman Polanski, who did something illegal, or Mel Gibson, who demoralized an entire group of people, Woods personally hurt people close to him. Nobody elected him to an office, and everything he has achieved in his career, he earned with his own hard work. His moral character doesn’t change his athletic ability.
Furthermore, while Woods allegedly took drugs such as Viagra and Ambien, last time I checked, four-hour erections and random sleep patterns don’t make someone a better athlete.
In my eyes, Woods owes apologies to his family and sponsors. Those apologies don’t have to be, and shouldn’t be, public. Apologizing to his wife in front of millions of people doesn’t change the fact that he betrayed her trust, or save his children from the years of therapy that will come with everyone knowing their father is a whore. He needs to apologize to anyone who paid him money for endorsements for breaking the “I promise to not be a douche bag” clause in the contract. Neither of those apologies concerns the public.
When Woods became a professional golfer, he signed up to be a model golfer; that does not include being a model husband. His string of cocktail waitress hook-ups doesn’t make him any less of a good golfer.
I found myself skeeved out when he said “my real apology to [my wife] will not come in the form of words. It will come from my behavior over time.” I can’t fathom what that means, and to be honest, I don’t want to know. Then he mentioned he wants to keep the progress of their relationship private. After his mention of the “actions speak louder than words” policy, it’s a little late for that. The best way to keep your private life private is to not publicly apologize for your actions.
I understand the purpose of role models, but we know celebrities for their accomplishments, not their personalities. When they do something morally unjust, while it remains hard to swallow, the public has no right to demand an apology.
If their behavior isn’t illegal or bigoted, then celebrities should be free to live how they choose. When Woods finds his next waitress, I’ll keep living my life, waiting for his return to the golf course.