Monday, February 22, 2010

Publicity Stunt?

I don't know how many of you guys have been following the Tiger Woods story with his recent press conference but I have listened to a number of different opinions about it and I feel like giving my opinion about it as well.

A little background: Tiger Woods has been cheating on his wife for quite a while (the details are not known, there are a lot of speculations and rumors involving call girls, waitresses, etc. etc.) and the story came out back around Thanksgiving of last year.

In his recent press conference he apologized for his despicable behavior, admitted to feeling like he was entitled to do whatever he wanted because of his fame and fortune, he read a bunch of stuff from a prepared statement in a rather monotone voice. His wife was not by his side but his mother was in the room. He also confirmed that he has spent the last 45 days in sex rehab and would be returning for an undefined amount of time.

Some of the more common opinions I have heard are, "because it was a prepared statement it wasn't sincere," "he doesn't owe anyone except his family an apology," "this was just a publicity stunt to try to recover his public image," "sex rehab is a fraud, people aren't addicted to sex, they're just weak," "he's only sorry because he was caught, if this didn't come out he would still be doing it," "everyone makes mistakes, who cares what he does in his personal life, he without sin let him cast the first stone," "why does he even feel so bad, he didn't break any laws, if he were single then he would be the Derek Jeter of golf, his only mistake was getting married so young."

Hearing some people's opinions on the situation casts a very negative light on the state of society. First of all, what he did is despicable and he is 100% percent responsible. Having said that I should also say that I believe in a Gospel of change and although he doesn't share my beliefs (apparently he's Buddhist, something else he said in the press statement) I believe the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are all encompassing; although full forgiveness is only available through baptism by one with proper authority, a certain amount of forgiveness can be achieved by following most of the steps of true repentance. This can be seen through the success of Alcoholics Anonymous, a program that essentially teaches proper repentance. I find it easy to believe that Tiger Woods made the public statement as part of his addiction recovery, and because of his world-wide fame he felt it prudent to "apologize and confess" to the world, or at least to whomever cares and was listening. I don't know if that was the motivation for his statement, but I do think it is a plausible theory.

About sex rehab and sexual addictions, people who say it is a fraud are just showing their ignorance on the topic, there are plenty of accredited studies showing that sexual addictions of many kinds are an actual chemical addiction, and people who have recovered from both cocaine addiction and sexual addiction have said the cocaine addiction was the easier addiction to overcome. However, that doesn't excuse the actions of addicts in the least bit; I do believe, however, it gives them hope knowing there is a possibility of recovery, that although there is something wrong with them, it can be fixed. It is not just the way they were made.

A lot of people seem surprised that he appears to be so motivated to save his marriage and get his life back in order when he still has millions of dollars in the bank and will still most likely be the best golfer on the PGA tour. Possibly, Woods is realizing that money doesn't buy happiness. So in his endeavor to find a truly meaningful life and be more than just the greatest golfer ever I wish him luck.

But in the end my opinion comes down to this; I don't care what he says, only what he does.