Wthe immediacy of modern technology, it is way too easy to write something or disseminate information that will be regretted about 3½ seconds later. (Please see: many of the other articles I have written.) Imagine if the requisite hackneyed apology existed throughout history. Nero: “Perhaps in retrospect, I probably should have done something else but play a lousy musical instrument while Rome burned to the ground.” Ivan The Terrible: “I got a bad rap. It’s not like I chose that nickname.” Attila the Hun: “I’m sorry for my actions. This is not how a barbarian is supposed to act.” Fortunately for these figures, immediacy of communication was a little spotty. Perhaps if there were YouTube clips of the Massacre of Novgorod or CNN footage of the Battle of Châlons, then things would have been different. (Feel free to Google the references.) Anyway, the recordings would be grainy. Flash forward to the present generation, where actions are posted and relived on the Internet before the left brain has had a chance to figure out what the right brain just did.
Sports figures give modern society innumerable chances to teach lessons to others by repeatedly completing the sentence, “See what happens when you…” To break it down into perplexes and oh no’s, the general playbook of athlete stupidity usually reads the same way: 1) Commit Stupidity 2) Wait for public backlash 3) Make heart-felt/gun-in-the-back apology at the request of media/PR person 4) Enumerate the number of people and entities you’ve let down and how you’d like to learn/move on from said foolishness and no longer answer any questions on the topic so as to not revisit the past (where have you gone, George Santayana?).