"I Cheated:" Tiger Woods Delivers Semi-Satisfying Apology


He didn’t tell everyone to quit watching golf, but Tiger Woods‘s second public statement about his infidelity, delivered at 11am this morning, was somewhat more candid than the first. Our breakdown, after the jump.

The Good

— Woods again took pains to quash rumors that wife Elin Nordegren attacked him. He said she had behaved with “grace” throughout the scandal, and, with more passion than he displayed anywhere else in the speech, he took to task all those who criticized her. If it’s true that the rumors of her beating him up were scurrilous, then good for him for squashing them.
— He explicitly said “I had affairs” and “I cheated.” In his previous statement, he stuck to vague admissions of “personal failings” and “sins.”
— While he said he was working on his problems, he didn’t make any explicit promises about saving his marriage. Given the fact that Nordegren wasn’t present, this was probably smart — it may lessen the media furor if they do get divorced.

The Bad
— Woods had a little John Mayer moment when he talked up his charity work. I understand that some of the family who have benefited from this work may feel let down by his infidelity, but this isn’t really the time to go into detail about his charitable projects.
— Complaining about media scrutiny is de rigueur for the celebrity public apology, and Woods did it again here. Yes, asking for privacy for his wife and kids is legitimate. But Woods should recognize that he benefited from his star status for a long time before it hurt him.

The Ugly
— Though Woods’s defense of his wife seemed sincere, it’s hard not to feel that every other aspect of this appearance, and indeed, his entire life post-scandal, has been heavily managed and scripted. The sex rehab, the admission that he failed as a role model, the no-questions, tightly controlled public show of contrition — all seem less like organic expressions of remorse than like calculated moves to clean up a badly stained image. A lot of money hinges on America liking Tiger Woods again, and this — along with his now-notorious “failings” — makes it hard for me to fully believe anything he says.

Tiger Woods: ‘Sorry’ For Irresponsible Behavior [AP via Yahoo! News]
Video: Watch Tiger Woods’ Statement From Florida [USA Today]

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