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Sponsors stick by Woods despite ‘failings’
Corporate sponsors said they still stand behind Tiger Woods as a spokesman, even after the golfer acknowledged "personal failings" Wednesday in the wake of reports that he had an extramarital affair.
Companies including Nike, Gatorade, Gillette and EA Sports said they have no plans to change their relationship with Woods, who earns tens of millions of dollars in endorsements as one of the world's most visible athletes.
Though some companies declined to comment on their relationship with Woods, nearly all said their agreements remain intact.
"Nike supports Tiger and his family," the athletic equipment manufacturer said. "Our relationship remains unchanged."
Said Gatorade: "Tiger and his family have our support as they work through this private matter. Our partnership continues."
NetJets, Gillette and EA Sports all issued similar statements, which came Wednesday after Woods issued a statement on his Web site apologizing for "transgressions" that he did not specify.
"I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves," he said in the statement. "I am not without faults, and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone."
The magazine US Weekly on Tuesday reported claims from a Las Vegas cocktail waitress who said she had a 31-month affair with Woods. The magazine Wednesday released a recording of Woods purportedly asking the woman to adjust her voice-mail greeting to avoid detection by Woods' wife, Elin.
Last week, the National Enquirer reported Woods was having an affair with another woman in New York. That woman has denied any affair took place.
Woods was cited for careless driving after crashing his SUV into a fire hydrant and then a tree outside his Florida home early Friday morning. A six-page accident report indicates Woods caused $3,200 in property damage and that he was driving erratically without his seat belt.
Tabloid reports suggested Woods had been arguing with his wife over the reports of infidelity and that he may have been attacked by his wife. In his statement Wednesday, Woods called any suggestion of a physical altercation "utterly false and malicious."
Woods has been known to protect his privacy closely and said he would continue to try to do so despite heightened media interest.
"But no matter how intense curiosity about public figures can be, there is an important and deep principle at stake, which is the right to some simple, human measure of privacy," he said in his statement. "I realize there are some who don't share my view on that. But for me, the virtue of privacy is one that must be protected in matters that are intimate and within one's own family. Personal sins should not require press releases, and problems within a family shouldn't have to mean public confessions."
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