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When Sorry Isn’t Sincere

Chris Brown
Chris Brown
Chris Brown

This is an archived copy of the article that originally appeared July 7, 2011 on by Patrick Wanis PhD

There’s been a recent spate of anti-gay remarks by celebrities:

Singer Chris Brown called a group of photographers “gay” when he got angry believing they had reported his illegally parked car. Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan suggested during one of his comedy shows that he would take a knife to his son if he found out he was gay. Singer Cee Lo Green attacked a music critic via
Twitter saying “I’m guessing ur gay? and my masculinity offended u?” (Cee Lo wasn’t aware at the time that the music critic was actually a woman and not a man). Basketball star Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 for making a gay slur against a referee during a game.

To add to the list of controversial remarks, actor Russell Crowe Tweeted “circumcision is barbaric and stupid” even though he argued he was Tweeting in jest to a Jewish friend.

A Common Thread
What do all of these people have in common other than bias, bigoted or controversial remarks?

First, they were all speaking what they truly felt and second, they all quickly apologized for their initial remarks.

Celebrities, athletes and public figures all are well connected to crisis management experts who advise them to immediately apologize because their career and popularity are being seriously threatened.

Accordingly, each of the guilty parties will say something along the lines of ‘that’s not really the way I feel or what I believe’ and will proceed to add their support to the respective groups they offended such as the gay community or Jewish people.

But how many of them were truly sincere with their apologies?

Kobe Byrant says “The words expressed do NOT reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were NOT meant to offend anyone.”

But yes, they were; they were intended to offend the referee. To Kobe the word faggot does imply something bad and negative and disgusting, otherwise he could have simply called the referee an “F….n Lamborghini.” Kobe also chose to appeal the fine which raises doubts about the sincerity of his apology.

The point then is: Are any of the above apologies heartfelt and can a forced apology change a person’s real beliefs and feelings?

To read my opinion and the rest of this story, click over to my website. I’ll give you a hint, a forced apology does not change the way a person really feels and it ultimately creates more harm than good.

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