After writing about bad boys, success, and discipline yesterday, you might ask, “What about Tiger Woods? Why was he pilloried? He is full of discipline. Why didn’t society accept of him something many successful athletes do?”
I’m no expert on public relations, but I see two main issues. First, the lesser issue. He doesn’t have a bad boy reputation. His is clean cut and respectful, or looks that way to me. Charles Barkley throwing a guy through a bar window fits within his image as a physical player. By the time he did it, he had already done many similar things. He plays basketball physically and hard. James Dean driving dangerously risks innocent people’s lives, but he raced cars already.
Second is the bigger issue. Woods didn’t respond with integrity when found out. You might not agree with Barkley’s actions, but look at how he stands by his actions:
He stands by his actions 100%. I think all the others I posted about yesterday did too.
I know of no comparable statements Woods made. Woods considered his own behavior wrong and said so. When you hear someone acknowledge his values and behavior clash you think, “Well, even you know you shouldn’t have done it.” You don’t react that way with any of the bad boys I mentioned yesterday because they were internally consistent.
Another issue is that he involved a non-consenting adult. Yesterday’s bad boys’ behavior involved mostly themselves. James Dean’s reckless driving hit someone else, but he died himself. Malcolm X stole from others, but he gained widespread support years later, using his time in prison to transform himself.
The lesson I learn: know your values and behave consistently with them.
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