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Monday, February 22, 2010
Reaction to Tiger Woods Apology

Sports attorney Jay Reisinger has a thoughtful reaction to Tiger Woods's apology:
Some in the media have asked me whether Tiger took the correct path in handling this matter with respect to public relations given that I had represented Sammy Sosa, Andy Pettitte, and A-Rod (and others) in somewhat similar circumstances. To be candid, I would have provided different advice, and employed a different strategy, but that is not to say Tiger (and/or his advisors) chose the wrong path. At the end of the day, Tiger only had to apologize to his wife, his family, and his friends, which he did. He does not need to apologize to the American public or his sponsors. With his statement (and I’m sure well before then), he apologized to the only people he needed to apologize to. This was a personal failure, not a professional failure.
I agree with Jay that Tiger might have been better off employing a different apology strategy. A full press conference in which he answered questions, or a simple written apology could have served him better. The strategy he instead chose seemed like an attempt to get credit for being a public event or even press conference, but in many ways it was neither. It was Tiger Woods reading a statement that had been carefully written, probably by a number of folks, in a controlled environment without the possibility of questions.

On the other hand, a lot of people seemed to like the speech, so maybe it was the right move. When's the last time an apology generated this much attention? NY Daily News has a good list of 21 famous apologies, most of which are from the last 10 years.


Michael - I posted a comment on Jay's blog site last night about his reflection on last Friday's press conference. I won't repeat it here because I hope our readers will go and look at Jay's site. They might even read my comment there.

Let me add something in the way of a response to your statement on this blog this morning. If all Tiger needed to do was address in public his wife, family, and friends, what he did is OK. A written apology, in my opinion, would have garnered even more negative "it was too scripted" comments from many.

My initial reaction this morning about what I wanted to say was that Tiger should have done this earlier. However, if Tiger actually had to come to grips with his behavior being truly wrong maybe it took this long to get to that point.

Whatever Tiger did, he would be criticized - see my comment on Jay's site.

Blogger Ed Edmonds -- 2/22/2010 8:42 AM  


I think you're right that Tiger would be criticized no matter what, though I personally think a written apology would have certain advantages, including making the issue seem smaller than the media has made it out to be (though I concede that would be a risky strategy).

Blogger Michael McCann -- 2/25/2010 6:17 PM  

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