Tiger Woods' mysterious car crash outside his Orlando-area home has left him with facial lacerations, a public-relations nightmare, and an alleged sex scandal. Woods' has repeatedly declined to speak to the Florida Highway Police and his only public statement (on his website) includes an apology for an unspecified "situation." Amid tabloid reports that Woods is having an affair with New York cosmopolite Rachel Uchitel (who's hired celebrity lawyer Gloria Alfred), commentators are split: Is Woods' persistent silence making a bad situation worse?
Tiger’s silence will hurt more than the truth: "We all know how this will play out: It’s going to get much uglier," says George Diaz in the Chicago Tribune. Our thirst for "every gory, gossipy detail" will trump Tiger’s "look but don’t touch" game. And if he doesn’t fill the void with, at the very least, a real "mea culpa," the sex scandal and Rachel Uchitel will become the only story out there.
"Silence only feeds innuendo machine"
Woods' story is fishy, but he has every right to silence: Why avoid the police for three days and blog that you are "not perfect" and "will certainly make sure this doesn't happen again," asks Michael Rosenberg in the Detroit Free Press, if you've done nothing worse than back (soberly) into a fire hydrant? Still, this oblique, "heavy" apology is "all that Woods owes the public." Anything else is between him and his family. He’s never claimed to be anything but the world’s best golfer, so let’s judge him by that.
"If it's not about golf, Tiger Woods owes us no explanation"
If Woods doesn't clear this up, he risks losing his endorsements: "[Woods] is making it look like he has something to hide," said public relations expert Peggy Rose, as quoted in the Boston Herald. "If he made a mistake, admit it and move on. How he reacts now will determine his future image." As a face synonymous with Nike and Gillette, Woods could take a "huge hit to the wallet" if he doesn't break his silence soon.
"Experts to Tiger Woods: Come clean"
Tiger Woods doesn’t care what you think: Unlike Arnold Palmer, Tiger "has never yearned to be loved by the public," says John Paul Newport in The Wall Street Journal. "He just wants to be respected as a man and left in peace to play golf at the supernatural level." And that’s why this is a problem for him. Until Tiger puts this behind him, the sex scandal rumors and innuendo will get inside his head, and his golf game. He can’t afford that.
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