Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I'm Sorry (...)

In America today folks are always getting caught red-handed doing what they shouldn't. Politicians accepting bribes, celebrities getting caught in affairs, or professional athletes doping. These juicy, titillating, and oftentimes salacious reports drag across the news tickers every hour on the hour for a couple of days before they are replaced by the next indiscretion and the next "can-you-believe-it?" story. At this point in time, these reports of illegal and immoral activities are so commonplace that nobody is shocked by anything anymore. High dollar public relations firms have well mapped out strategies for immediate rehabilitation. Press releases are issued and a quick trip through the talk show circuit with a quick "I'm sorry" issued over chit-chat and coffee mugs. Personal appearances are fully saturated in the most professionally coached mannerisms with the saddest of eyes. Yet it is clear to me that the Ivory soap 99.44% of these folks are only apologizing for getting busted. I'm sorry (...), where the (...) is the mumble of let's just get through this so that I can get back to my usual life.

A perfect example of this public response was played out in front of us just recently. Kansas City Royals infielder Miguel Tejada was recently suspended for 105 games for testing positive two different times this season for using amphetamines banned by Major League Baseball. Tejada's PR firm released a heartfelt statement from the player saying (in part):

"I apologize to my teammates, the Royals organization and to the Kansas City fans. I have a medical condition that requires medication to treat. ... But I want people to understand one thing. I wasn't using a drug to take advantage on the field, or be stronger or hit more home runs."

It almost makes you feel sorry for the guy until you know a bit more about the full story. Mr. Tejada was up to his eyeballs in other illegal drugs through the Biogenesis company that has been in the sport headlines for the past several months. He had apparently been on a regiment of performance enhancing drugs to give him precisely the competitive advantage that he had denied in his professionally crafted press release on the amphetamines rap. It turns out that Major League Baseball gave him the option of accepting the suspension for the amphetamines or they would give him a lifetime ban for the P.E.D.s that he was also taking. "I'm sorry (...)".