You hear it all the time:
"I didn't do anything wrong."
"It's not my fault."
"I deny everything."
"I have nothing to hide."
Most of the time with the highest-profile athletes, politicians, actors, CEOs, shady investors and the like, it's lies... all lies. Until of course they're caught. Even then there may be no admission of guilt.
So when someone steps up to the plate immediately, says "I'm wrong," tells the world "it's my fault," and says "I'm sorry," well, I for one think it's worth paying attention and giving recognition. Because that's the way it's supposed to be. Want to live a better life, want to be respected, want to change the world? Then stand up and tell the truth, even when it hurts.
The other day Major League baseball player Cameron Maybin of the San Diego Padres was suspended for 25 games after testing positive for amphetamines. Immediately following the announcement, Maybin issued a statement:
I have been undergoing treatment for several years for a medical condition, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), for which I previously had a Therapeutic Use Exemption [TUE],'' the statement read. "Unfortunately, in my attempts to switch back to a medicine that had been previously OK'd, I neglected to follow all the rules and as a result I tested positive.
I want to assure everyone that this was a genuine effort to treat my condition and I was not trying in any way to gain an advantage in my baseball career. I understand that I must accept responsibility for this mistake and I will take my punishment and will not challenge my suspension. I apologize to my family, friends, fans, teammates, and the entire Padres organization. I look forward to returning to the field and contributing to the success of my club.
The most important lines are buried inside that statement: "I understand that I must accept responsibility for this mistake... I apologize to my family, friends, fans, teammates and the entire Padres organization."
Maybin did it. He admitted he did it. And he said he was sorry for doing it. And in doing so he gains respect. Just read the responses from the Padres organization:
Padres manager Bud Black said that:
Our club fully supports Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Cameron has accepted full responsibility for his violation and apologized to his teammates and coaches. We are all looking forward to his return.
Team President and CEO Mike Dee added:
I'm disappointed in Cameron's violation of MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, but am pleased that he's taking responsibility for his mistake. The Joint Agreement was put into place to protect both the player and the game, and the Padres fully support it.
My point here is simple, but there is a tremendous lesson to be learned. We all make mistakes, sometimes we do the wrong thing, make a poor decision, hurt our reputation and lose trust in the process. No one is perfect, and it can be a long battle back to regain the respect and the trust, but you can start by admitting you are wrong, saying you are sorry and apologizing to those you offended, or who were hurt by your actions. But act quickly.
In sports they say defense wins championships. But even the best defense makes an error now and then. In life when you make a mistake, your best defense is a great offense. Stand up and say you are sorry, admit the truth -- and tell everyone, "it's on me."
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.
Author of the #1 Amazon Best-Seller: It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse's Story