The release of dash cam footage from Tiger Woods’ arrest in the early hours of Monday morning was largely met with outrage and disgust.
But it has also, in fact, led to an outpouring of sympathy which wasn't wholly evident prior to its release.
Was there was enough detail in the police report to highlight the worrying state Woods was found in? Perhaps. But the footage did graphically show – whether we like it or not – the true extent of Woods’ troubles and just how far he has fallen.
The mugshot, as expected these days, led to ridicule on social media and got the ‘meme treatment’. That’s easy meat. But the 23-minute video hasn’t led to anything of a similar ilk.
Instead, there has been a very serious and sincere expression of heartfelt sympathy for the 14-time major winner. The very graphic visual of him struggling to speak, struggling to walk, and latterly handcuffed by police was a tough watch.
Its release, which is mandatory upon request in accordance with Florida state law, has perhaps, in hindsight, had a positive impact because it has rallied the golf community to summon help.
Would we have seen multiple major champions Gary Player and Martin Kaymer post heartfelt messages of support on Twitter? There didn’t seem to be such a tide of support before the video. Without that footage, we wouldn’t have known the extent of his troubles laid bare.
But while these messages are great for drumming up support among fans, ultimately, actions speak louder than words - and this is a point where those close to the 41-year-old need to offer support.
Quite what Notah Begay was thinking on Golf Channel on Monday afternoon is anyone’s guess. Begay, who Woods calls ‘a close friend’ in his book Unprecedented: The Masters And Me, said the detainment was ‘embarrassing’ – and that was before any further details or statement about the arrest had been made.
Saying nothing at all would have been more helpful at that point.
Kaymer perhaps summed up the mood for everyone in his video message, ending his two-minute video by saying: “We all want to see him happier and, hopefully, one day we’ll see him play golf again.”
Few will disagree with that.