A Declawed Tiger

By Todd A. Smith

          We have always been a society obsessed with celebrity culture.  We fantasize about being a movie star or hotshot athlete and imagine our lives if we had the same financial blessings as our heroes.

            As a result of our obsession, we feel that celebrities owe us something.  If we invest our time and money following their career, we believe that they should live their lives for us and must be granted our approval for any decision they make in life.

            This mentality has led to the lack of celebrity privacy that news organizations and the paparazzi have given those in the public eye as they feed our insatiable hunger to know all of the private details of others’ lives.  The latest figure to deal with the lack of celebrity privacy and the downside of living in the public eye is golf sensation Tiger Woods.

            “Every one of you has good reason to be critical of me,” Woods said at a recent press conference.  “I want to say to each one of you, simply and directly, I am deeply sorry for my…selfish behavior.”

            Although I applaud Woods for coming out and admitting his bad judgement for numerous affairs, why should he have to apologize to us.  As a child, my parents taught me that one should apologize when they did wrong to another individual.  In this situation, Woods did not wrong society, the PGA or even his sponsors; he harmed his wife and children.

            As I watched news coverage of this much-anticipated press conference, I was amazed at how many people said they could never forgive Woods for his infidelity.  The follow-up question that should have been asked of these individuals is why would Woods need your approval?

            I have often stated in Regal Magazine that we make a mistake when we put people in the public eye on a pedestal.  They are simply human beings with the same flaws that we all have.  It is time for us to learn that none of our role models are perfect and we should not expect perfection from them.

            And more importantly, we must realize when we discover those imperfections; we are not owed an apology or explanation unless the imperfection directly affected us.

Smith is publisher of Regal Black Men’s Magazine.

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