Did Tiger HAVE to drag in the school kids?
I was hoping he wouldn’t do this in today’s mea culpa speech, but, alas, he did: Tiger Woods HAD to remind the public that he really is a great guy because his foundation helps needy kids get an education.
He doesn’t seem to have learned the one lesson that many other people did from his sordid fall from grace: Nobody--not adults and especially not school-aged children -- should look to a celebrity as a role model for a value system.
This is not to say many celebrities don’t have fine values; I'm sure many do. But the truth, as my collegue Tracee Hamilton wrote in a December column, is that we don’t know what the truth is about these people.
We see in their public lives what they want us to see (except in the instance where the National Enquirer stakes you out and reveals your secrets, à la Woods and John Edwards). Successful sports figures are great because they have a particular talent. That’s it.
Very early in today’s speech, just after telling people that his marriage wasn’t anybody’s business but his own and his estranged wife’s, and well before giving his full apology, he went for it:
“My behavior has caused considerable worry to my business partners, to every one involved in my foundation, including my staff, board of directors, sponsors -- and most importantly the young students we’ve reached. Our work is more important than ever. Thirteen years ago my dad and I envisioned helping young children achieve their dreams through education. This work remains unchanged and will continue to grow. From the Learning Centre kids in Southern California to the Earlwood scholars in Washington D.C., millions of kids have changed their lives, and I am dedicated to making sure that continues.”
Translation: I’m not entirely despicable! I help children get an education! Redemption through the school kids!
How I wish he had left the Learning Centre kids and the Earlwood scholars out of it. They have no place in a public apology for serial affairs from a married golfer with two children.
What Woods was suggesting later in the speech is that he hopes that just perhaps he can, again, become a man worthy of being a role model to young people, as he once was before all of his base behavior became public.
Pity that he still doesn’t realize that he never should have been seen as one in the first place.
CBS’ David Feherty, who has covered Woods on the golf circuit, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that he was impressed with the golfer’s “vulnerable statement” and that “the vast number of people just want their Tiger Woods back.”
If all those people want is a great golfer, that’s fine. If they want Woods to be anything more, they are delusional.
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| February 19, 2010; 12:17 PM ET
Tags: Tiger Woods
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