Fried chicken comments get golfer in trouble, chaos ensues
For those who don't follow golf, Sergio Garcia of Spain and Tiger Woods got into several spats in the past few weeks. It escalated this week in several ways:
Saying he had difficulty sleeping and contemplated withdrawing from this week's European Tour event, Sergio Garcia on Wednesday afternoon apologized for racially insensitive remarks directed at Tiger Woods at a tour function outside London the previous night, acknowledging his comments were "totally stupid and out of place."
The two golfers have been engaged in a war of words going back two weeks to The Players Championship, and it turned ugly Tuesday night with Garcia's admitted poor attempt at humor, which prompted a tweet from Woods: "The comment that was made wasn't silly. It was wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate."
Garcia jokingly answered a question at a European Tour players dinner Tuesday night about getting together with Woods at the U.S. Open by saying, "We'll have him 'round every night. We will serve fried chicken."
"Fried chicken" references are associated with racial stereotypes of African-Americans.
There is a backstory on this:
Then, the CEO of the European golf tour piled on the racially insensitive bandwagon:
At the 1997 Masters tournament, Zoeller made a racist remark regarding Tiger Woods. After finishing tied for 34th place with a score of 78, Zoeller, referring to the following year's Masters Champions Dinner, for which the defending champion selects the menu, said, "He's doing quite well, pretty impressive. That little boy is driving well and he's putting well. He's doing everything it takes to win. So, you know what you guys do when he gets in here? You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year. Got it." Zoeller then smiled, snapped his fingers, and walked away before turning and adding, "or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve." K-Mart and Dunlop ceased sponsoring Zoeller after the incident.
The head of the European golf tour has apologized for using the term "colored" during a live television interview in which he was reacting to the spat between Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia.
European Tour CEO George O'Grady said Thursday that "most of Sergio's friends are colored athletes in the United States."
O'Grady said he regrets "using an inappropriate word in a live interview," and added "I unreservedly apologize."
The word "colored" is considered an antiquated and offensive term in some countries.