CNN anchor Andy Scholes has apologized for insensitive remarks he made during a live broadcast following Tiger Woods' rollover car accident on Tuesday.
Woods, 45, underwent a "long surgical procedure" on his right leg and ankle following a single-car crash near Los Angeles just after 7 a.m. local time.
The iconic golfer had just left his hotel, and was speeding in his Genesis GV80 sports utility vehicle when he lost control of the SUV at a curve in the road.
The vehicle crossed a divider and smashed into trees before rolling over multiple times and coming to rest on its side in a ditch near Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
Scholes, who was anchoring a CNN segment hours after the crash, said, "Stunned I guess, but not entirely surprised by, you know, what we're seeing here."
"Tiger, back in 2017, was found by police, pulled over to the side of the road. You know, asleep in his car. He had said he had taken a lot of painkillers at that time. Because, as well all know, Tiger has undergone a lot of surgeries over the years and painkillers have become a part of his life."
Scholes' remarks prompted a furious backlash on social media, including from his peers in mainstream media.
"This is just irresponsible journalism," tweeted Hemal Jhaveri, an editor for USA Today Sports. "We don't know anything yet. CNN needs to get some real sports reporters."
Scholes repeatedly apologized to Twitter users, saying, "Sorry didn't mean for it to come out that way."
Woods remains hospitalized as he recovers from surgery to stabilize bones in his lower right leg.
Automotive experts say the Genesis GV80 Woods was driving may have saved the golfing icon's life.
Woods is pictured standing next to the car he was driving at the time of the accident.
Among the SUV's safety features is a blind-spot monitor with "collision-avoidance assist" technology, a "driver attention warning" system, and "semi-autonomous driving mode" that adapts over time to the owner's typical driving style.
The SUV also features a fortified frame that absorbs impact during rollovers.