A teary-eyed Tiger Woods held his much-anticipated press conference this morning. He offered a heart-felt apology to his family, his friends and his fans. He didn't hold back, recognizing the specific mistakes he made, acknowledging the requests of the media, answering some of the questions people have. He said specifically, looking straight into the camera, "For all I've done, I am so sorry."
The biggest question was whether he would play at the Masters; Without saying specifically, he pretty much said no. He said he hoped to return to golf this year, implying that six weeks from now wasn't in the cards.
The press has gone out of its way over the last few days to criticize Woods' statement before he said it. They didn't like that they wouldn't be allowed to ask him questions, and they were nearly unanimous in dismissing the validity statement before he even made it. CNN titled the event "Live and scripted." The Golf Writers Association of America had even voted overwhelmingly to boycott the public statement all together. Throughout the statement, a bitter CNN continually ran a scroll that reminded people that, "Waaaaaaah, we weren't allowed to ask questions. Waaaaaaah."
But you couldn't ask for much more than what Woods delivered this morning. While other athletes, actors and politicians caught in compromising positions deny their transgressions or let it roll of their back, Woods has never denied it, he has taken it very seriously, and he has put his family and rehabilitation ahead of his career. You can't have handled it more respectfully than Woods has.
As far as athlete apologies go, I have never heard one so sincere and so real.