Friday, December 4, 2009

Attention Tiger Woods: Privacy is Dead

In the majority opinion in Griswold v. Connecticut, Justice William O. Douglas wrote that the "right to privacy" was found in the "penumbras" of other constitutional protections.  Other subsequent decisions have referred to some sort of "right to privacy," although it is not found explicitly in the constitution.  In the last week or so, Tiger Woods has been trying to hold on to some sort of "right to privacy" as the media, bloggers, and anyone with any sort of public forum (that means you facebook and twitter members) attempts to claw away at it with speculation and the release of small parts of what happened.  Give Woods credit for attempting to control the flow of information about him, but the dam will give eventually.

In the age of TMZ, social networking and cell phone cameras, privacy is dead - especially for celebrities.  As much as they try to hide it or deny it, the public knows when a celebrity starts dating someone new, when they get arrested or in a car accident.  It's only a matter of time before more details become public and Tiger loses his control of the flow of information.  His best bet may be to come clean - in more direct terms than his statement on his website about his "transgressions" - because his assertion of his privacy seems almost defiant at this point.  If he comes clean, he will still maintain control of the flow of information about him. 

If history is any indication, America is willing to forgive its athletes for wrongdoing.  Kobe Bryant admitted to cheating on his wife, came clean, and has slowly recovered many of the endorsements he lost.  Has anyone mentioned Andy Pettitte in the same sentence with "performance enhancing drugs" since his admission in 2007?  On the other hand, America does not appreciate defiance... just ask Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds. 

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Brett Smiley said...

Completely agree. What he's asking or expecting is almost as surprising as it is laughable. Just because he's enjoyed the whole squeaky clean appearance from forever until now (at least based on what I've seen and read), doesn't mean that he's exempt from scrutiny. Not that dollars should dictate the level of scrutiny, but he's the top dog as far as endorsements + winnings/salary based on what I recall. Something near $108M last year.

As far as coming clean, he's basically already admit it. Or he admitted to 'transgressions' (plural) which can be taken to mean nothing else but affairs. Certainly not car accidents. But, maybe a fuller apology or explanation would serve him well, otherwise the (alleged) mistresses will continue to climb out of the woodwork after some publicity and a paycheck.

Sadly, this episode doesn't really surprise me one bit. So now this, Agassi and McNair this year...

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