Photo: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times 02/26/09
Superstar Golfer Tiger Woods broke his silence today and spoke to his friends, fans, sponsors, and the world. Woods’ statement at a clubhouse of the PGA tour in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida this morning, came across as sincere and genuinely apologetic to me. Oh, he was smart enough to take personal responsibility for the huge sex scandal that turned his life into a train wreck.
“The issue involved here was my repeated irresponsible behavior. I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did is not acceptable, and I am the only person to blame.
I stopped living by the core values that I was taught to believe in. I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn’t apply. I never thought about who I was hurting. Instead, I thought only about myself. I ran straight through the boundaries that a married couple should live by. I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame, I didn’t have to go far to find them.
I was wrong. I was foolish. I don’t get to play by different rules. The same boundaries that apply to everyone apply to me. I brought this shame on myself. I hurt my wife, my kids, my mother, my wife’s family, my friends, my foundation and kids all around the world who admired me.
I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I’ve done. My failures have made me look at myself in a way I never wanted to before. It’s now up to me to make amends and that starts by never repeating the mistakes I’ve made. It’s up to me to start living a life of integrity.”
Now, whether Tiger can make the changes he talked about to save his marriage and career, only time will answer that. Tiger’s decision to forgo golf for a while and stay in therapy is a good sign. His mother, Kultida Woods, was among the 40 or so selected individuals who gathered in that clubhouse for Tiger’s statement. His wife, Elin, was not there. For the full text of Tiger’s 13 and 1/2 minute statement click here.