coburnI’ve commented before, (see “I’m Sorry”), about the poor apologies we see in public, where the perpetrator essentially says, “I regret if others may have taken offense at what I was construed as having said.” Or some other mangled nonsense that absolves them (or us) of actual responsibility. Giving a direct, clear apology at times seems to be a dying art.

Not this example. It’s from Steve Coburn, owner of California Chrome, the horse that just missed winning horse racing’s Triple Crown—winning the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont, within a span of just a few weeks. It’s such a difficult accomplishment that it hasn’t been done since 1978. When his horse won the first two races, but then lost the third, Coburn, frankly, made a jackass of himself. He launched into a nationally-broadcast rant against the other owners, calling them “cowards” because some didn’t race their horses in all three races. It’s an understatement to say that his comments went viral.

At his request, he and his wife showed up the following day on Good Morning America to offer an apology to those he offended. Click here to see a good example of how to apologize.

It makes any open-minded, open-hearted person respond, “Thanks. I’ve been a jackass in my life, too. I forgive you.”