According to his agent, golfing great Tiger Woods will be making a public apology on Friday, presumably for the behavior which derailed both his marriage and his golfing career. The future prospects of Woods’ marriage are unclear, but those of his career aren’t. Woods may have found himself with a bad lie, but given proper handling, he should be able to extricate himself. Despite the hue and cry surrounding the holiday-season scandal, the public can be notoriously forgiving of athletes’ sexual peccadilloes. As a sports culture, the PGA may be slower to forgive than would the NFL, NBA or MLB, where such a public sex scandal is hardly something new. But given time, it will blow over.
The Penitent Tiger
The upcoming apology should serve to expedite Woods’ public absolution, which is no doubt the purpose behind Friday’s planned flagellation. When apologizing to more than one person, especially to thousands, even millions of people, there are two questions which must be answered either expressly or implicitly for the apology to mean anything.