When You Apologize, You’re Not Supposed To Make Things Worse

I was lucky enough to spend some time this July watching the men’s World Cup.

As always, there was masterful footwork, precision passing and the joy and pain that comes with world-class athletes competing against each other with a golden trophy waiting for the winners at the end of the tournament. And, as always, the theatrics also were world-class.

One player in particular brought the drama in a big way: Neymar, the Brazilian phenom, spent an amazing amount of time sprawled on the grass, grimacing and crying and convulsing at the slightest touch by an opposing player. He spent so much time on the pitch that a news channel added up all the time he spent down on the ground and not playing. It was FOURTEEN MINUTES, or almost 15 percent of one entire game. Wow.

Neymar was the scenery chewing over-actor who launched a thousand or more memes. (If you have a moment to go down an amusing rabbithole, check these out.)

He’s a brilliant soccer player, but his histrionics during the World Cup (and, frankly, before then as well) have taken the focus away from his mad soccer skills. Perhaps, in hindsight, he’s also realized that.

He’s now appearing in a Brazilian Gillette commercial in which he admits that “Sometimes I do exaggerate.” No! Really?

But this erstwhile apology doesn’t really ring true. He was paid a lot of money to “apologize,” and manages to come off like a spoiled brat rather than someone who is contrite and sincerely regrets his choice to continually flop when someone so much as looks at him. In the commercial, he blames everyone else for his flops instead of taking responsibility for his own actions.

So – the next time you have to apologize for something, take my advice: look contrite, be sincere, and if someone has to pay you to make the apology, maybe donate those earnings to a charitable cause.

Leave a Reply