Golfer Tiger Woods has released a statement about his Friday morning accident:
As you all know, I had a single-car accident earlier this week, and sustained some injuries. I have some cuts, bruising and right now I’m pretty sore.
This situation is my fault, and it’s obviously embarrassing to my family and me. I’m human and I’m not perfect. I will certainly make sure this doesn’t happen again.
This is a private matter and I want to keep it that way. Although I understand there is curiosity, the many false, unfounded and malicious rumors that are currently circulating about my family and me are irresponsible.
The only person responsible for the accident is me. My wife, Elin, acted courageously when she saw I was hurt and in trouble. She was the first person to help me. Any other assertion is absolutely false.
This incident has been stressful and very difficult for Elin, our family and me. I appreciate all the concern and well wishes that we have received. But, I would also ask for some understanding that my family and I deserve some privacy no matter how intrusive some people can be.
Woods has a right to his privacy and owes nobody (except maybe the neighbor whose tree he whacked) an explanation.
Still, if he’s going to issue a statement… well, perhaps it’s our own sad cynicism that makes this seem like a classic non-denial denial, or at least non-statement statement. The “rumors” go unnamed, which means they can be called false and irresponsible without Woods actually going on record about them.
He says he was the only person responsible for the accident, which sounds like it’s supposed to mean that nobody else was involved. But it could only mean that he was driving, after all. It doesn’t actually rebut those (irresponsible!) rumors that his wife was chasing the Escalade and whacking it with a Tiger Woods signature driver. (He’d still be “responsible” — he should have kept his eyes on the road!)
Same goes for “My wife, Elin, acted courageously when she saw I was hurt and in trouble. She was the first person to help me. Any other assertion is absolutely false.” Nobody has asserted that she wasn’t the first person to help him. The assertion is that they’d had an argument, which could be perfectly consistent with her also being the first person to help him after she saw he was really hurt.
The phrase “acted courageously” seems designed to hint at the original story, that Elin Woods smashed a rear window with a golf club to get him out of the car. But it doesn’t actually say that, or say anything that provides any actual fact or means anything.
It would be so easy for him to say “there was no domestic disturbance, as alleged” or “I was driving to the 7-11 for a pack of Pall Malls” if he wanted to. But nothing like those simple statements are made here.
Which is surely what he intended. And just as surely, we aren’t the only people parsing this statement this way. But if the point of making a statement is to end speculation, this one won’t get it done.
And if that’s not the point, why make a statement at all?