Posted on February 19, 2010 by Torod Neptune — 1 Comment
In the first public comments from Tiger Woods since he issued a statement apologizing for his marital transgressions, we were witness to a press conference called by Tiger himself to address the controversy that has surrounded him, his marriage, and his alleged infidelity. From a crisis management vantage point, the only real challenge Tiger had coming into the event was to appear genuine, appropriately contrite, and committed to making it right for his family. That’s really all the public wants to see and hear from public figures who are coming to us for some degree of redemption or forgiveness.
But unfortunately, we were treated to the exact opposite. What began on an appropriate note with something along the lines of “I am deeply sorry for the irresponsible and selfish behavior I engaged in. … I had affairs. … I cheated” sadly ended somewhere after that. Exactly where isn’t clear since the obviously scripted statement was a really long and winding road, which quickly became almost too painful to keep watching.
Before the tsunami of commentary commences, let me go on record suggesting that watching the just-completed Tiger Woods press conference was probably one of the most painful experiences I’ve had in my adult life – excepting the triple root canal, perhaps.
Aside from rambling on for way too long, doing a pretty poor job of appearing genuine, and making the classic mistake of scripting his remorse – all the while making South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s post-infidelity discovery press conference look like a candidate for an Emmy – Tiger did himself and his image no favors, and perhaps did more damage than his complete silence for the last 70 days.
The blogosphere and traditional media have for weeks been screaming about the need for Tiger to say something about his reported infidelity, to provide some sort of context or rationale that the public could use to put his behavior in context, but there was nothing. Not a peep. Not a sighting. Not even a Tiger-penned article somewhere, besides that vaguely written blurb posted on his Web site about two weeks after the crash. Then earlier this week came the news that an official press conference was planned. We were alerted that media access would be tightly managed, with no questions allowed. Not long after it became clear exactly how tightly media access would be managed by Tiger’s people, the golf writers’ group made the decision to boycott the entire event, expressing dismay at the ban on questions.
Suffice it to say that today’s press conference will go down in history as perhaps one of the most awkward, mismanaged and disingenuous events in the history of spouses attempting to make atonement for their indiscretions. One thing is for sure. We certainly know more than we did before the press conference began, but in my opinion we know none of what we really wanted to know.