Thursday, July 13, 2006

Apology but no regret

A second posting in a row on soccer - anyone who knows me must think something has gone seriously wrong in my life. After all, a few weeks ago I would not have even known that the soccer world cup was on its way. - For better or worse I watched the final and saw Zinedine Zidane (left) headbutting Italian defender Marco Materazzi.
Since the incident Zidane declared that he considered his own behaviour 'inexcusable', and he considered it necessary to 'apologise', but not without adding that he nad no regrets. The Italian, he claimed, had uttered nasty insults about his mother and sister.
I would be the first to accept that the spoken word can be as hurtful (even more hurtful) than a headbutt, and that a dividing line between words and actions often isn't sensible. People can be driven into suicide simply by the word.
In any case, what really puzzles me about this episode is the idea that I could apologise to someone without regretting what I did. This seems impossible to me. An apology seems to require some sense of regret culminating into an apology to the offended/injured.


  1. I agree, this does sound strange. The only time one aplogises for an action but does not regret it is when the apology is empty and/or forced by someone else. Like the child who apologises to his sister not because he regrets pulling her hair but because his mother makes him.

    Incidentally, there was something else puzzling about this whole thing: Zidane said "I cannot regret it, because this would mean he was right to have said what he did." This logic seems a bit skewed - surely Zidane can regret losing his temper and assaulting MAterazzi without condoning what was said.

  2. hang on! i thought he doesnt regret headbutting Materazzi, but i apologise for the fan for what they had to witness....i think it makes sense cos i'd exactly do the same...


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