Thursday, January 21, 2010

Apology 5 (Phelps, Woods)

I want to look at 2 more athlete apologies today. Once again we are dealing with very famous men (Michael Phelps & Tiger Woods), but this time very different offenses (drug use and multiple adulteries respectively).

Michael Phelps, after winning 8 gold medals at the 08' games, was pictured partying and using illegal substances. He gave the following apology:

"I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment. I'm 23 years old, and despite the successes I have had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner that people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public -- it will not happen again."

- It's short and too the point
- Strongly worded (bad, inappropriate)
- Stated regret, sorry

- Partially blames his age (kids do this sort of stuff)

Grade: B
Tiger Woods, of course, is now known to have been involved in a series of adulterous affairs (he seems to have since checked into a clinic for sex addicts). Though he is a very rich man for being a public figure, he hasn't made much in the way of public comment. In fact, this is about all we have:

"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."

- Starts fine
- Makes clear wife is not at fault
- Some strong wording (transgression, profound)

- More mad at media than self
- Almost sees himself as a victim
- Paints himself as a great holder of principles!

- I question whether someone who made millions on public endorsements has not surrendered the right to privacy

Grade: C

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