Tiger Woods broke his silence on Friday, February 19th, and addressed the public, his sponsors, family and friends on his series of affairs that have been widely publicized since breaking in Thanksgiving.
Appearing somber and speaking slowly and carefully, Mr. Woods apologized profusely to the public in a small room set up for the conference, saying “For all that I have done, I am so sorry. I have a lot to atone for.”
“Everyone of you has a reason to be critical of me,” he said early on in the conference. “I had affairs, I cheated. What I did was irresponsible, and only I am to blame.”
Addressing questions over how he could commit such a series of affairs while also serving as a national role model, he said:
“I convinced myself that normal rules didn’t apply.” “I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to,” adding afterwards that “I don’t get to play by different rules” and “I was wrong, I was foolish.”
He said he understood that people wanted the details of the the affairs, and his relationship with his wife. He said that him and his wife, Elin, had begun discussing the damage done, but that apology would not come from words, but from “behavior over time.”
He also cautioned the press, saying that “these are issues between a husband and wife.” His tone appeared almost aggressive when describing how paparazzi had dragged his family into problems that were strictly his doing.
“Whatever my wrongdoings,” he said, “for the sake of my family, please leave my wife and kids alone.”
“They did not do these things, I did,” he added.
He made it clear that the work his foundation has done providing children with education will continue.
“Millions of kids have changed their lives and I am dedicated to making sure that continues.”
“It’s not what you achieve in life,” he said, “its what you overcome. Character and decency is what counts.”