Shahid Afridi’s Bizarre Ball Tampering Apology

According to Cricinfo, Shahid Afridi offered this bizarre non-apology apology after he was caught ball-tampering:

“I shouldn’t have done it. It just happened. I was trying to help my bowlers and win a match, one match,” he told Geo TV, a Pakistan-based news channel. “There is no team in the world that doesn’t tamper with the ball. My methods were wrong. I am embarrassed, I shouldn’t have done it. I just wanted to win us a game but this was the wrong way to do it.”

Count the number of ways Afridi approaches his remorse: first, he righly admits he shouldn’t have done it. OK. But then, second, he says, it just happened (meaning, it was not pre-meditated), though chewing anything requires a fair amount of planning (hand-mouth coordination and all that). Then, and third, everyone does it (meaning, it’s something he should have done?).

As The New York Times reported this week (after Toyota flat out apologized for their faulty gas pedals), a good apology seems to have fallen out of fashion:

Examples of bad apologies abound. “ ‘I want to apologize’ is not an apology,” Ms. Weeks said. “It’s no more an apology than ‘I want to lose weight’ is a loss of weight.”

How about “I’m sorry if you were offended,” or “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings”? These imply that the injured party is just too sensitive. “I’ve been agonizing about this. I’ve been losing sleep. I feel so bad.” These suggest that the wronged party should take care of the apologizer. And then there’s, going on attack — “Are you going to hold this against me forever?” — if the apology isn’t immediately accepted.

For another example, see Matthew Hayden’s faux apology after he mocked Ishant Sharma’s accent.

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