I’ve spent a good bit of time with boys after they have violated a major school rule of some sort, and in each and every case, the boy in question has said, “I am sorry.” In each and every case, I have believed him.
The question I have sometimes wrestled with, though, has been: What is the cause of this sorrow? Is the lad in question sorry for what he’s done or sorry that he’s been caught? I’d like to think that, in general, I lean towards the optimistic belief that, even the least contrite boy feels both strands of sorrow. (A copy of Rembrandt’s “The Return of Prodigal Son” hangs in my office for a reason.)
As I listened to Tiger’s apology on Friday, I found myself asking the same question. Yes, he’s sorry. But why? It’s hard to see the real man beneath the surface of such a carefully scripted statement.
Sally Jenkins speaks for me when she writes, “It would have been easier to accept Woods’ confessional at face value if he hadn’t followed such an obviously calculated, familiar media crisis strategy: lead off with heartfelt apology, transition to trumpeting charitable work, and then attack the press.”