Tiger Woods made his long-awaited “statement” of sorrow today at the PGA headquarters in Ponte Vedro, Florida. There are many transcripts available online, but none of the transcripts I am seeing, represent what Tiger actually said. I listened to the speech and typed away as he spoke. I don’t have every word, but I am close, and especially close to the spirit of his words. So below are my transcribed notes, which may be paraphrased, at times. See a video below. See update below.
When an accurate transcription appears, I will post it.
Good morning and thank you for joining me.
Many of you in this room are my friends and know me, many of you have cheered for me, worked with me and supported me.
Now everyone of you has reason to be critical of me, I want to say to each of you, simply and directly, I am very sorry for my irresponible behavior.
How could I be so selfish and foolish? How could I have done this to my wife, Elin and my children?
Elin and I have begun the process of examining the damage done by my behavior. My real apology to her will come from my behavior over time. What we say to each other will be between us.
I am aware that my behavior is hurt you. I’m deeply sorry my behavior has been a personal disappointment for those of you who work for me. I have let you down and let down my sponsors and most importantly to the young students we reach. This work [with children] remains unchanged. Millions of kids have changed their lives and I am dedicated to making sure this continues.
I am aware that I have bitterly disappointed you. I am embarassed that I have put you in this position, and for all that I have done, I am so sorry. I have a lot to atone for, but there is one issue I want to discuss:
Reports are that my wife hurt or attacked me on Thanksgiving me. Elin never hit me that night or any other night. There has never been domestic violence in our marriage. Elin has enormous grace and deserves praise, not blame.
I had affairs. I cheated. What I did is not acceptable. I stopped living by the core values I was taught. I thought I had worked hard and the rules did not apply to me. I ran through the boundaries that married people live by. i thought I had worked hard and was entitled. Because of money and fame, I didn’t have to go far to find them. I brought the shame on myself. I hurt my wife, my kids, my mother, my wife’s family, and children around the world who admired me. My failures made me look at my self.
Making amnends means never repeating the same mistakes. I once heard, it is not what you achieve in life that matters, its what you overcome.
Charac and decency are what really count. It’s hard to admit that I need help. For 45 days from the end of December 2009, I was in in-patient therapy. I have a long way to go but I’m taking my first steps in the right direct.
I understand the press wants to know the answers to many questions. Everyone of these questions and answers are between Elin and me. Some people have made up things. False things: that I have used performance enhancing drugs. That is false.
I feel it is right to shield my family. When my children were born, we released phtos so the papparazzi so they would not chase us, but they followed my daughter to school. They followed my mom. I recognize I brought this on my self, and I am the one that must change.
My focus is to become a better man. I intend to dedicate myself to it.
I was raised a Buddhist. My mother taught me. I must stop following every impulse. Obviously I lost track of what I was taught. I will continue to receive help because that is how I can bring about change. Tomorrow i will leave for more thereapy. I thank the players in the field for understanding why I made this statement today. I need to be balanced so that I can make the changes I need to make.
I do plan to return to golf one day. I just don’t know when that day will be. I do not rule out that it will be this year. When i do return, I need to be more respectful to the game. I look forward to being with my fellow players
It was rumored that Michael Jordan would be present, but there was little panning of the audience – so that is still an open question.
Update 2-19-10 – Reactions to Tiger’s statement:
It has left a big question mark: When is he going to return? We have had
the apology but as golfers we are back at square one.
Ernie Els (upset that the statement was made during the week of the World Golf Championship):
It’s selfish,” Els told Golfweek magazine.
Here’s the truth of why Tiger, on the golf course, matters:
Woods is one of the most recognized athletes in the world. Television
ratings double when he is in contention, which has happened a lot on his
way to winning 71 times on the PGA Tour and 14 majors, four short of the
record held by Jack Nicklaus.
Julia Mancuso, Olympics – American Alpine skier:
Twitter: “do we think this is coming from the heart or the paper! come
on Tiger! give us some reality here.”
Mistress, porn star and deadbeat Mom – Joslyn James/Veronica Swik-Daniels:
Veronica Siwik-Daniels, one of Woods’ alleged mistresses and a former
pornographic performer, watched the event with her attorney in a Los
Angeles radio studio. She said she wants an apology for the unwanted
attention the scandal has brought her.
“I really feel I deserve to look at him in person face to face in the
eyes because I did not deserve this,” she said.
Elin’s mother and father refused to comment.
Related and Background: