An Open Apology to Our Readers

Dear Readers of Paints in the Point,

Good morning. And thank you for joining me.

Many of you on this site are my friends. Many of you on this site know me. Many of you have cheered for me, or worked with me, or supported me, and now, every one of you has good reason to be critical of me.

I want to say to each of you, simply, and directly, I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior I engaged in.

I know people want to find out how I could be so selfish and so foolish. People want to know how I could have done these things to my friends. And while I have always tried to be a private person, there are some things I want to say.

The Paints Dudes and I have started the process of discussing the damage caused by my behavior. As they have pointed out to me, my real apology to them will not come in the form of words. It will come from my behavior over time. We have a lot to discuss. However, what we say to each other will remain between the six of us.

I am also aware of the pain my behavior has caused to those of you on this site. I have let you down. I have let down my fans. For many of you, especially my friends, my behavior has been a personal disappointment. To those of you who work with me, I have let you down, personally and professionally. My behavior has caused considerable worry to my business partners.

Thirteen years ago, my dad and I envisioned helping young people achieve their dreams through education. This work remains unchanged and will continue to grow. Millions of kids have changed their lives, and I am dedicated to making sure that continues.

But, still, I know I have severely disappointed all of you. I have made you question who I am and how I have done the things I did. I am embarrassed that I have put you in this position. For all that I have done, I am so sorry. I have a lot to atone for.

But there is one issue I really want to discuss. Some people have speculated that the Paints Dudes somehow hurt or attacked me on Thanksgiving night. It angers me that people would fabricate a story like that, since I wasn’t even in the same state as them for Thanksgiving, as our podcast from that day proves. They never hit me that night or any other night. There has never been an episode of domestic violence while we have maintained our website. Ever.

The Paints Dudes have shown enormous grace and poise throughout this ordeal. The Paints Dudes deserve praise, not blame. The issue involved here was my repeated irresponsible behavior. I was unfaithful. What I did is not acceptable. And I am the only person to blame. I stopped living by the core values that I was taught to believe in.

I knew my actions were wrong. But I convinced myself that normal rules didn’t apply. I never thought about who I was hurting. Instead, I thought only about myself. I ran straight through the boundaries that a responsible blog contributor should live by. I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled. Thanks to the administrative control I had of Paints in the Point, I didn’t have to go far to find them.

I was wrong. I was foolish. I don’t get to play by different rules. The same boundaries that apply to everyone apply to me. I brought this shame on myself. I hurt my mother, my family, my friends, and kids all around the world who admired me.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I have done. My failures have made me look at myself in a way I never wanted to before. It is now up to me to make amends. And that starts by never repeating the mistakes I have made. It is up to me to start living a life of integrity.

I once heard — and I believe it is true — it’s not what you achieve in life that matters, it is what you overcome. Achievements on the golf course are only part of setting an example. Character and decency are what really count. Parents used to point to me as a role model for their kids. I owe all of those families a special apology. I want to say to them that I am truly sorry.

It is hard to admit that I need help. But I do. For 45 days, from the end of December to early February, I was in inpatient therapy, receiving guidance for the issues I’m facing. I have a long way to go. But I’ve taken my first steps in the right direction.

As I proceed, I understand people have questions. I understand people want to know whether The Paints Dudes and I will remain together. Please know that as far as I’m concerned, every one of these questions and answers is a matter between The Paints Dudes and me.

I understand the press wants me to ask me for the details of the times I was unfaithful. First and foremost, I was unfaithful between midnight Eastern Daylight Time and approximately 1 PM Eastern Daylight Time on April 1, 2010. I changed the layout of this website in a way most people thought was unimaginable. For some, I ruined the character of the Paints in the Point website by sullying it with my behavior. When I appeared to have repented and gone back to the old format between 1 PM Eastern Daylight Time and approximately 7 AM on April 2, 2010, I had merely replaced the banner image with an equally inappropriate image that sickened many of our viewers. Simply put, it was an April Fools’ Day prank gone wrong.

Some people have made up things that never happened. They said I used performance-enhancing drugs. This is completely and utterly false.

Despite the damage I have done, I still believe it is right to shield The Ivy Leaguer (who created the banner that was uploaded in the second part of my transgressions) from the public spotlight. He did not do these things. I did. I have always tried to maintain a private space for the Paints Dudes. Whatever my wrongdoings, for the sake of my friends, please leave the Paints Dudes alone.

I recognize I have brought this on myself. And I know above all I am the one who needs to change. I owe it to the Paints Dudes to become a better person. I owe it to those closest to me to become a better man. That is where my focus will be. I have a lot of work to do. And I intend to dedicate myself to doing it.

Part of following this path for me is Buddhism, which my mother taught me at a young age. People probably don’t realize it, but I was raised a Buddhist, and I actively practiced my faith from childhood until I drifted away from it in recent years. Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously, I lost track of what I was taught.

As I move forward, I will continue to receive help because I have learned that is how people really do change. Starting tomorrow, I will leave for more treatment and more therapy.

In therapy, I have learned that looking at the importance of looking at my spiritual life and keeping in balance with my professional life. I need to regain my balance and be centered so I can save the things that are most important to me: the Paints Dudes and comedy.

That also means relying on others for help. I have learned to seek support from my peers in therapy, and I hope someday to return that support to others who are seeking help.

I do plan to return to blogging one day. I just don’t know when that day will be. I don’t rule out that it will be this year. When I do return, I need to make my behavior more respectful of what is expected of me.

In the past day, I have received many e-mails, letters and phone calls from people expressing good wishes. To everyone who has reached out to me and the Paints Dudes, thank you. Your encouragement means the world to the Paints Dudes. I want to thank the NBA, Commissioner Stern and the players for their patience and understanding while I work on my private life. I look forward to seeing my favorite players on the court.

Finally, there are many people on this site who believed in me. Today, I want to ask for your help. I ask you to find room in your hearts to one day believe in me and my comedy again. Thank you.

Sincerely,

The Freelancer

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3 Responses to An Open Apology to Our Readers

  1. The Custodian says:

    I may not have loved the ponies, but I love this.

  2. The Champ says:

    Brilliant. The Franchise wants us all to “Leave Tiger Alone”

  3. […] since I made my apology on April 2, many of you have been wondering when I would return from my hiatus. Therefore, I have decided to […]

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