I am so tired of people saying that Sergio Garcia‘s ‘Fried Chicken’ retort was not that bad. I agree that it was as Tiger Woods said when he tweeted, “The comment that was made wasn’t silly. It was wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate. I’m confident that there is real regret that the remark was made.” I had a white friend say to me today when we were talking about what Sergio Garcia said and the response to it, “I am sorry, but what is all the fuss about, what is that black people eat the most of, like we do not eat the same foods as everyone else?”
Well the world press keeps saying that Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia do not like each other and they are in a feud, but how do you like someone who is obviously jealous of you, because you beat him at a game he feels you should not even be playing for a number of reasons, none that have anything to do with your lack of ability to play the game, but smack of why they did not want other greats sportsman in their sports to play like Jackie Robinson in baseball. I wonder what the press would have read and the sportscasters would have reported and if the presidents of tournaments would be allowing Tiger Woods to play in their events if he had said something equally as racist as Sergio Garcia with his ‘Fried Chicken‘ retort.
The world of golf, golfers, fans, promoters, sponsors all tried to run Tiger Woods out of the sport of golf, because they felt that cheating on his wife was bad for the image of golf and sent a bad message to children all over the world who would be adversely impacted for all time and grow up to do the same thing. Sponsors dropped him, tournament heads and players gave interviews denouncing his behaviour and irate fans booed him. Airplanes flew over the courses where he was trying to play with I hate Tiger banners trying to let Tiger Woods know that they did not like him still playing the game, but what of racism in the game of golf? Is that racial slur by Sergio Garcia not to be considered as bad, or perhaps a little worse than stepping out on your wife, or does the world of golf still think that ‘Fried Chicken and Watermelon’ jokes are still funny and appropriate when discussing, or referring to black people.
There have been no call to release Sergio Garcia by sponsors, so I guess they did not see any harm done to his image, or sell ability, after all Sergio was only joking, right? Sergio is not a racist, he just made a racial joke right? Hell blacks say the same types of things all the time about themselves; just listen to all the black comedians. Well I do not agree with this trend of making things okay to do and say by some of us, but not all of us. There is an obvious double standard that the game of professional golf has when in comes to what is good and bad for the games image and what its players must do not to adversely give the wrong messages for their child followers to follow and what constitutes a just conclusion to wrongful acts. I am sure Sergio Garcia is a hero to at least one child and what message has he just sent that child watching and why does golf not seem to care? Why are those who persecuted Tiger Woods for his indiscretion adding to the problem by doing nothing to punish the offending party?
This is not the first time this type of remark has been allowed to happen without serious consequences by the game of golf promoters, sponsors, reporters, or fans and I think it sucks. All that seems necessary to set things straight and to be forgiven by the world of golf for making derogatory, inflammatory, racist remarks is to make a public and personal apology in the media. I wonder why Tiger Wood`s apologies to everyone fell on deaf ears and everyone in the world of golf took their pound of Tiger flesh? Was it that Elin was white? I ask because when Michael Jordan cheated on his wife who was a black woman, he was not railroaded out of basketball, or dropped by sponsors, or vilified in the press as a bad role model for his young fans.
Case and point: Sergio gets up on stage at the European Tour’s gala players’ awards dinner and says when asked if he would have Tiger Woods, for dinner one night during the upcoming US Open. “We will have him round every night,” “We will serve fried chicken.” To which Ewan Murray golf reporter on Wednesday 22 May 2013 writes,” Sergio Garcia’s ongoing spat with Tiger Woods took an unwelcome turn on Tuesday night, when the Spaniard made what could be interpreted as a racist remark about his opponent. Could be interpreted as a racial remark?
Ewan Murray goes on to say that The statement was similar to Fuzzy Zoeller‘s infamous remark towards Woods in 1997. Then, after Woods won his first major, the Masters, which entitled him to choose the champions’ dinner menu for the following year, Zoeller said: “You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not serve fried chicken next year. Got it? Or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve. “Zoeller later apologised and said he had been misconstrued”.
Where is golf`s high moral ground in this matter, where is their concern for the young impressionable fans, or was the attack on Tiger Woods always just a racial slur, a bad joke taken too far, or does the game itself still feel that Tiger Woods has no right to play in it and that Tiger Woods has no right to be the number one player playing in their game. We often hear of underground racial bigotry still going on in subtle ways in some sports deemed to be the last bastion of the white athlete and the white fans that like to see white champions, like tennis and golf who for a long time were able to keep these games free of the ethnic minorities by virtue of private clubs, but for the most part in recent years it was tolerated, because who would have thought that it was possible for a young black man to become number one in golf, or that the Williams girls would dominate in tennis despite all of the barriers thrown in their way.
Reported in the Telegraph: Sergio Garcia says, “I want to send out an unreserved apology, I did not mean to offend anyone. I was caught off guard by the question but don’t get me wrong, I understand my answer was totally stupid and out-of-place”. I would ask, “Why not just say no I would not?” Sergio says,“Finally and most importantly I want to apologise to Tiger and anyone that I could have offended. I feel sick about it and truly, truly sorry. Hopefully we can settle things down and move on.” I would ask, “Move on to what Sergio? Is Tiger the bad guy if he does not accept the apology?” Such apologies have been enough to satisfy European Tour chief executive George O’Grady and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, while García said he wanted to speak to Woods directly. He does not have his phone number but has left a message with Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg. I would ask Tour chief executive George O’Grady and PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, “Where is golf`s high moral ground in this matter, where is their concern for the young impressionable fans, or is racism a lesser evil than adultery”? Asked if he accepted his comment was racist, García said: “It was not meant that way. I was caught off guard by what seemed to be a fun question and tried to give a funny answer that came out totally wrong. “I would say to this response that Sergio Garcia is doing damage control and thought that what he said would be alright in the eyes of his peers and that the only thing that Sergio Garcia regrets is that no one but him laughed. I would say to this response that Sergio Garcia is doing damage control, because being labeled a racist is in most cases not good for a person’s career. I would say to this response that for Sergio Garcia to even think that this ‘Fried Chicken’ racial slur could be considered funny speaks volumes and I am glad that he was caught off guard, so that we could see the real Sergio Garcia and not the on guard Sergio Garcia, because it allows the world to see that it is not our imagination, but a reality that racism is still okay in some sports and in some circles.”
In closing I will say this, I find it discouraging that in this day and age that racial intolerance for black people is still acceptable and condoned in sports, on the air and in supposedly educated well off, intelligent circles. I will end this with an I should have known better than to expect any different, because it never has been easy, or fair for the black athlete who dared to play in what has been considered a White man’s game. When the likes of Fuzzy Zoeller and Sergio Garcia can say the things that they said and get away with it, but a black player named Tiger Woods can be almost run out of the game for cheating on his white wife something is really wrong in the world of golf and in the world that accepts this behaviour as normal.
- Sergio Garcia sorry for ‘fried chicken’ taunt at Tiger Woods as Spaniard caught up in racism row (telegraph.co.uk)
- Golfer Apologizes to Tiger for ‘Fried Chicken’ Remark (abcnews.go.com)
- Sergio García makes ‘racist’ remark about old adversary Tiger Woods (guardian.co.uk)