Tiger Woods is sorry. He’s very, very sorry. Also, he’s sorry.

But Scott Feschuk questions his sincerity

UPDATE: Tiger Woods has released a third statement to his website: “I caught Larry King last night and was that actually Pat O’Brien pontificating on my behaviour. Pat O’Brien?? The drunk-dialing, explicit-voicemail-leaving, sexual-harassing Pat O’Brien??? So I’m being judged now by Pat O’Brien, am I? ARE YOU PEOPLE OUT OF YOUR GODDAMN MINDS????? P.S. Anyone got a couch I can crash on? P.P.S. Still sorry.”

Tiger Woods has released another statement on his web site. In it, he basically admits to having been unfaithful to his wife. Have a quick read of it, then meet me down below.

I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.

Although I am a well-known person and have made my career as a professional athlete, I have been dismayed to realize the full extent of what tabloid scrutiny really means. For the last week, my family and I have been hounded to expose intimate details of our personal lives. The stories in particular that physical violence played any role in the car accident were utterly false and malicious. Elin has always done more to support our family and shown more grace than anyone could possibly expect.

But no matter how intense curiosity about public figures can be, there is an important and deep principle at stake which is the right to some simple, human measure of privacy. I realize there are some who don’t share my view on that. But for me, the virtue of privacy is one that must be protected in matters that are intimate and within one’s own family. Personal sins should not require press releases and problems within a family shouldn’t have to mean public confessions.

Whatever regrets I have about letting my family down have been shared with and felt by us alone. I have given this a lot of reflection and thought and I believe that there is a point at which I must stick to that principle even though it’s difficult.

I will strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves. For all of those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology.

Hi, me again.

Now obviously, Tiger is in a position to afford the very best in crisis management teams. These teams always have on staff at least one top-notch writer to do exactly this kind of thing: pen the statement of contrition. But here’s a semi-serious question: shouldn’t the statement at least sound in some way as though it could plausibly have been dictated by, written by or typed in the same room as Tiger?

I mean, we all know the guy. We know the way he speaks in public. None of this sounds like Tiger. It skillfully hits all the main points – tacit admission of some indiscretion, attempt to correct some aspect of the record, dewy-eyed plea for privacy (aka boo-hoo it’s so hard being famous!) – but it does so without ever sounding like Tiger. His statement comes across as every bit as corporate and calculated as his choice of golf attire. As I read it, I kept expecting a brief break during which he would mention the meticulous performance and lasting durability of the Gillette Fusion. Or perhaps a line about how in future he’ll be every bit as reliable and trustworthy as… the American Express card!

Does this matter? I think it does matter – especially in a world where he’s choosing to do no interviews and leaving the statement to do a lot of heavy lifting in terms of damage control. An apology can get you a very long way, but the apology has to seem sincere (or at least to be emanating from the general vicinity of the person in question).

What do you think?

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