Tiger Woods Apology: The Good, and Things He Should Have Said
The press was buzzing today with Tiger Woods and his apology. He is not coming back to golf yet. He is going back for more therapy. He had a very lengthy and comprehensive apology.
My wife and I have been in our own sexual addiction recovery process. My sexual struggles and addiction caused a lot of damage to my family. I lost my job and ministry. We had to move. And it the hurt is taking a long time to heal and work through. [Click here to find our story]
I would be interested in your thoughts about Tiger’s apology and the way that he’s working on his problems. Leave a blog comment below or email us privately at email@example.com.
Here are some of my early thoughts:
THINGS I HEARD FROM TIGER THAT WERE GOOD
1. Takes ownership of his actions – A number of times Tiger mentioned his deeds, his actions and his infidelity. There wasn’t any blame or denial in his statement. Too many people who are stuggling with sexual issues and sexual addiction blame their parents, the system, the pressure of fame, the lifestyle and the media. His words: “I was wrong. I was foolish.”
2. His actions hurt others – Yes our actions hurt us, but when sexual addiction takes place, there is a whole network of people that are affected. Tiger mentioned his wife, kids, employees, those who work for his foundation, the sponsors and the fans. Hurting others with your actions has to be recognized.
3. He shared truth – There wasn’t any mincing of words or heavy spin. He admitted to infidelity. He did these things. He hurt his wife. He also mentioned his admittance to the rehab clinic. He didn’t share the gossipy details. He did dispell some rumors and lies, but without giving the media what they would have liked to hear.
In addiction recovery, details must be shared, but with those directly involved and in the safety of people who can truely help.
4. He showed humility – He mentioned how hard it was to address the public. He mentioned how far he had strayed, and could not believe what he had become. He showed grief over his actions, remorse, and in my opinion, contrition. He mentioned that he let people down and has a lot to learn.
5. “I felt I was entitled” – He’s definitely learning some things from recovery. Money, fame, power, a bad marriage and stress never entitles us to commit infidelity.
6. “I convinced myself that normal rules don’t apply” – Right on! We start to think we are entitled and that we can set our own rules. We get so deceived by our hearts and the rush of the behavior that we create our own world. We loose track of morality and fidelity.
7. “Boundaries” – A therapy / recovery term. He stepped over lots of them. He and his wife need to spend a lot of time re-establishing boundaries.
8. “I ask you to find room in your heart to one day believe in me again” – I really like this last line. I wish he had gone farther with it (see below), but he knows that an apology is not going to magically fix things. He knows that trust has been broken, and may be regained, or may not. He knows that he is a role model and has failed. He knows that his actions affect a lot of people who look up to him.
9. Golf was barely mentioned – People want to know when he will return to golf. He spoke only one sentence about this saying he planned to return, but didn’t know when. The focus of his words needed to be on his actions. Good for him!
10. He stepped away from his faith – It’s important to recognize that when we sin against others we are taking steps away from God’s plan for our lives. We hurt those who have been made in God’s image. Tiger acknowledged that his moral compass was off.
THINGS I HEARD FROM TIGER THAT WERE A BIT OFF
1. “I have a lot to atone for” – We have to realize that we cannot atone for our sins. It’s an impossible task. We can live lives of integrity and pour our lives in healthy directions, but we can’t undo wrongs and we can’t undo the problem of a sinful heart. The Bible teaches that we are all sinners, and Jesus is the only One who can atone for sins. Our good deeds can never repair the condition of our hearts.
In fairness, Tiger has taken some great first steps in repairing relationships. He has broken trust in many ways. Trust can be repaired if both sides are willing. But repairing trust is different from making atonement.
2. I didn’t hear the words “SEX ADDICTION” – I was a little bit surprised by this. These are strong words for a massive audience, I understand. And maybe him mentioning these words would have looked like he was blaming his addiction (a common belief by the media about sexual addiction). A lot of men and women are in sexual bondage. I think the terms need to be talked about, and that he could have mentioned it in a cautious way.
3. Nothing about forgiveness – Tiger apologized a number of times, and he apologized to many different groups of people. There was not a request for forgiveness. I was sure when he started his last line he would say: “I ask you to find room in your heart to one day FORGIVE ME.” Interesting. Maybe he felt it was too much to ask too soon. At some point he will need to ask for their forgiveness.
A SOLID APOLOGY
I felt there were many things I thought were good about his apology today. I felt it was heartfelt. I’m glad his wife and kids weren’t used as public tokens of sympathy. So many others like Eliot Spitzer, Jonathan Edwards and Governor Sanford gave lame, plastic apologies. Tiger spent a lot of time on his apology today. It was obviously crafted, but I don’t feel it was intended to put a “spin” on things. He said most of the important things.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Q: How do you think the apology went?
Q: What do you think Tiger should have said?
Q: What do you think he should not have said?
Q: Do you think he should have talked more about golf?
Q: Do you think he should have mentioned “addiction”?
Leave a comment on our blog.
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OTHER POSTS ON TIGER WOODS
“What Guys in Sexual Addiction Think About Tiger Woods”
What Tiger Woods is Teaching us about Sex
My Thoughts About Tiger Woods May Surprise You (by Marsha)