Sorry Seems To Be The Easiest Word

“I’m sorry, so sorry, that I was such a fool………” warbled country singer Brenda Lee, way back in those good old fifties and sixties when Saturday night was “boppin’ night” down the local church hall or youth club.

That little five letter word appears to have made something of a comeback of late, though hardly due to unrequited love, as was the case in Brenda Lee’s smash hit.

We’ve heard the word, “sorry,” a number of times in the last few weeks. Perhaps most prominent was the apology of Kaing Guek Eav, or “Duch” as he was notoriously known, whose trial for Khmer Rouge atrocities opened today in the Cambodian capitol, Phnom Penh.[1]

Olympic record holder, Michael Phelps, was quick to cry, “Sorry,” after being caught on camera inhaling marijuana smoke through a glass bong while out partying recently.[2]

Today, Madonna’s ex-lover and baseball star, Alex Rodriguez, bemoaned the immaturity that caused him to turn to steroid use – while ignoring all those similarly-aged players who didn’t – and begged America to forgive him.[3]

For Phelps and Rodriguez, all they’re sorry for is being found out. The abject apologies to the American people have more to do with preserving their standing in the sports they represent, than any genuine sense of regret over what they did.

Oddly, only one of these penitents who can be taken seriously. Kaing Guek Eav, at 66, has nothing to gain from his contrition. He will surely go to prison for life. As a born-again Christian, however, it is likely his remorse is sincere.

In two weeks time the trial for perjury of baseball star, Barry Bonds, will commence.[4] Bonds, unlike his fellow American sports cheats, chose to deny he ever used drugs, rather than seek absolution. No doubt, he hopes not to be proved wrong.

Time will tell, though with the prosecution set to call as many as 39 witnesses to testify against Bonds, before too long we may well experience yet another American sportsman weeping openly and begging his countrymen’s forgiveness.

[1] “Landmark Khmer Rouge trial starts” BBC, February 17th 2009

[2] “Here’s A Riddle” Sparrow Chat, February 1st 2009

[3] “Alex Rodriguez press conference live blog” USA Today, February 17th 2009

[4] “Feds: Estalella said Bonds admitted steroid use” SFGate, February 14th 2009

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