Tiger Woods and his now ex-wife Elin Nordegren have kept press interviews regarding the end of their marriage to a relative minimum (in other words, Tiger’s not out pulling a David Arquette and telling his crying-after-sex stories on the radio). Elin did one interview in People magazine and now Tiger has ‘penned’ a first person essay for Newsweek. In the essay, titled “How I’ve Redefined Victory,” he talks about how his golf achievements pale in comparison to the everyday joys of being a parent. “Giving my son, Charlie, a bath, for example, beats chipping another bucket of balls. Making mac and cheese for him and his sister, Sam, is better than dining in any restaurant,” he says.
I’m not one of the people who refuses to support Woods ever again because he cheated on his wife. However, if you’re going to write a public apology, it might be useful to explain exactly what you’re apologizing for. Woods’ essay is oblique, making references to a car accident and to hurting his family, but he never comes out and says exactly what his hurtful actions were. You could make the argument that because Woods is so famous anyone who comes across this essay will already know the backstory, thus making it irrelevant to explain again. But even a sentence or two admitting fault, rather than dancing around exactly why Woods is writing this essay in the first place, would go a long way. Right now, the piece just comes off as a piece of PR fluff instead of a heartfelt expression of regret or catharsis.