This article was originally published here.
We've had months to speculate, spread rumors, read tabloids, and talk trash.
Tiger Woods did some bad, bad things and deserved every bit of criticism directed his way. Even he admitted that.
He admitted he was selfish, irresponsible, and foolish. He admitted everything.
He spoke in front of cameras, in front of a room full of people, and he came prepared. He used written words on a piece of paper as a guide, and while it sounded as if he'd read it in front of a mirror a hundred times, it still felt genuine.
But not according to Stephen A. Smith, aka "I'll say anything that gets me quoted."
Smith is a joke, always has been, and always will be. He has no right to even begin to question Woods' motives or beliefs, let alone whether he's actually genuine.
Smith called Woods' open apology "fake" and "phony" and said that he was a robot, merely reading a script.
He even questioned what world everyone else was living in, because they clearly weren't living in the same world he was.
Thank God for that.
Smith is doing exactly what we expect of him. He's kicking a man when he's down. He's "speaking his mind" without actually using it.
He's opening that stupid, loose-tongued mouth for the public to hear all of his ridiculous comments. Because he thinks he's entitled to it, because he gets paid to do it, and because he loves to go against the grain.
Well, even ESPN's Skip Bayless would agree that, while it will get you popularity (good or bad), it's not always best to argue or disagree just to do so.
Tiger Woods braved the cold stares of all the people sitting on their couches across America. The guy is in rehab, trying to repair his marriage, his self-esteem, his ego, and his marriage.
He doesn't need people telling him it's all for nothing. That he's a fake. That his words weren't honest or sincere.
I watched Woods read from a piece of paper, plead to (or scold) the media, and tell them not to follow his wife and children.
I wasn't offended by anything he said. Rather, I was impressed.
He covered all the bases, made all the appropriate apologies, and asked in his final statement for all of America to think about one day being able to look at him as they once had.
As a role model, a good person, and a family man.
He made his mistakes, and he's paying dearly for them.
It's time to accept his apology for what it was: simply a step in the process, something he had to do, and unless we can prove it to be fake, a sincere and genuine piece of the puzzle that leads to him putting his life back together.
Humpy Dumpty fell off the wall, and he's trying to get back up again. Let's not let people like Stephen A. Smith abuse their power and thwart those attempts.
More, let's help Woods patch things up. Be patient. Wait for him to figure it out. He may not play at the Masters. He may not even play this year.
But that's beside the point. He's a man, a husband, and a father before a golfer. Even Stephen A. Smith should be able to respect that. Emphasis on should .
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