Keep Your Apology, Tiger

His personal life may be back on course, but when he gets back to the golf course, will we even care?

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The number of people who cared about post-scandal Tiger Woods was exponentially higher than the amount of people who cared about him when he was winning golf tournament after golf tournament. More eyes were on his public apology than the time he became the first African-American (and Asian!) man to win the Master’s. And in a public address that was only a quarter apology, but three-quarters public plea to leave his family alone, the message was clear to me: Tiger Woods would like nothing more than to go back to a world where most black people didn’t care about golf or golfers.

There are things we learned about Tiger in this public apology that we never knew before, such as his allegiance to Buddhism. Tiger attempted to squash rumors that suggested his wife had hit him or that he had used performance-enhancing drugs. When it came time to apologize formally, to give the statement he knew would be headline material, he looked dead into the camera and deadpanned, “For all that I have done, I am sorry.” But we won’t remember any of it.

Because let’s face it, we don’t care about Tiger Woods; we didn’t then, and we don’t now. We don’t care about the sport, the athlete or the sponsorships. What we care about is the lying, the cheating, the sex, the money and the fame that caused it all. We cared about the spectacular fall, and yes, we cared about the apology. But now, it’s back to normal, back to not caring about what Tiger Woods is going to accomplish next, and not caring about what is sure to be a spectacular rise back to his rightful place as the world’s best golfer.

Tiger Woods is going to be fine. He learned his lesson. The champion golfer will eventually return to his sport and, maybe, he and Elin will reconcile. But what about us? What about our lesson?

Our TMI-society is just waiting for the next social calamity. Tiger’s story has been followed more closely than the Haiti earthquake. When he wipes away the tears and takes it back to the course, my guess is, we won’t tune in. Game over.


Jozen Cummings is a writer living in Harlem, N.Y. He also hosts his own blog, Until I Get Married.