In a world obsessed with turning the life failures of the famous into comedic routines or entertaining satire, it's no surprise that the latest celebrity meltdown has hit circus-like status. Tiger Woods has come out publicly (via his website) and apologized for his "transgressions" and "sins." Now, he doesn't go into specifics, but that's probably because he knows that we all know: he's been cheating on his wife.
Certainly this isn't the first time a famous athlete has been less than faithful to his spouse. Off the top of my head I can think of various other athletes, most recently the likes of Kobe Bryant, Josh Hamilton, and Alex Rodriguez have all been caught sneaking around on their significant other.
And there are, without questions, dozens of other athletes that have been caught messing around, and probably hundreds more that have never been busted.
For some reason, many sports fans like this. They appreciate the fact that so many athletes fail in their personal lives just like every day people. I guess it makes us feel more connected to them. It reassures us of our own momentary departures from our morals and values, and that hey, in the end, "we're all human."
I think what we as people that love sports need to reflect on is not how Tiger's issues are affecting golf, his endorsements, or his role model status. We shouldn't be concerned with how many trending topics on Twitter are Tiger-related. We should be mindful of one thing: how has this situation affected Tiger Woods and his family?
Not that it's really our business. But when we look at it form that angle, we aren't as desensitized to it all. The cold reality is that Tiger Woods is a married man with children who made a choice to abandon (even if just temporarily) those commitments he made to his wife and family for his own selfish desires. Certainly his wife now lives with at least a modest amount of distrust and tremendous heartache. His children will grow up and soon realize their father's great professional legacy was tarnished because he decided to cheat on their mother.
I don't believe it's our job to blast Tiger Woods at every turn from here on out. It's not our duty to attempt to be his marital counselor. It is our task, however, to make sure we learn lessons from Tiger's big screwup.
As a father for just over 3 months now, I refuse to raise my daughter in a society that has no qualms with men who cheat on their wife, regardless of their fame. If we pretend like Tiger did nothing wrong, or if we chalk his actions up to the fact that he's just a warm-blooded American man, then we've given a free pass to all celebrities for whatever actions they may do that cause damage to their families. Then, in turn, we cause damage to families of our own.