Tuesday, January 12, 2010

VERITAS: TOUCHDOWN - CFL GM PUTS ON A CLINIC ON THE ART OF THE APOLOGY


At the beginning of the week, it appeared to be game over for Saskatchewan Roughriders’ general manager Eric Tillman who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting his children’s 16-year-old babysitter in 2008. While we don’t condone Tillman’s actions, we believe, his response in the aftermath is worthy of a Touchdown. In a tearful apology in court, Tillman made an emotional connection with the people most affected—including the victim, her family, his family, and Roughriders fans. “I'm profoundly sorry that I brought embarrassment to not only the organization and to my family, but to the people throughout this province.” Tiger Woods could learn a thing or two from Tillman. His comment towards his wife and parents demonstrates his understanding of the impact the scandal has had on them. “It pains me beyond words that 10 or 15 seconds of my life could impact them so significantly and I am so profoundly sorry.” He also took full responsibility for his actions and promised the judge that it will never happen again. While his apology might not save his job, it did spare him a criminal record. The judge gave him an absolute discharge saying that Tillman's behaviour was "out of character for him". Saying he’s sorry doesn’t right the wrong but it could encourage people to be more forgiving. A poll of Riders fans shows more than 86% of responders believe the organization should keep Tillman regardless of the outcome. At Veritas, we advise our clients that in a crisis, the key is to take charge of the situation quickly. Apologies can take you closer to the end zone but can earn you a Fumble if they’re not immediate and sincere.

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