I want to look at another apology in the same general genre as yesterday's. Marion Jones was a track star who cheated and later lied in court. Below is her apology:
"Good afternoon everyone. I am Marion Jones-Thompson, and I am here today because I have something very important to tell you, my fans, my friends, and my family. Over the many years of my life, as an athlete in the sport of track and field, you have been fiercely loyal and supportive towards me. Even more loyal and supportive than words can declare has been my family, and especially my dear mother, who stands by my side today.
And so it is with a great amount of shame that I stand before you and tell you that I have betrayed your trust. I want all you to know that today I plead guilty to two counts of making false statements to federal agents. Making these false statements to federal agents was an incredibly stupid thing for me to do, and I am responsible fully for my actions. I have no one to blame but myself for what I have done. To you, my fans, including my young supporters, the United States Track and Field Association, my closest friends, my attorneys, and the most classy family a person could ever hope for -- namely my mother, my husband, my children, my brother and his family, my uncle, and the rest of my extended family: I want you to know that I have been dishonest. And you have the right to be angry with me. I have let them down. I have let my country down. And I have let myself down. I recognize that by saying that I'm deeply sorry, it might not be enough and sufficient to address the pain and the hurt that I have caused you. Therefore, I want to ask for your forgiveness for my actions, and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. I have asked Almighty God for my forgiveness.
Having said this, and because of my actions, I am retiring from the sport of track and field, a sport which I deeply love. I promise that these events will be used to make the lives of many people improve; that by making the wrong choices and bad decisions can be disastrous. I want to thank you all for your time."
- Uses strong language (betrayed, guilty, dishonest, stupid)
- Takes full responsibility
- Gives people right to be angry
- Realizes saying 'sorry' is just a word
- Sees it has a spiritual offense
- Initiates consequences for her actions
In my opinion, this is a masterful apology. Of course, Jones cheated in her field and then lied about it in court, so we're really dealing with 2 separate wrongs. But this series is focused on the nature of genuine repentance in regards to wording. Jones says all the right things here and none of the wrong things. Grade: A