So, it comes out, finally, that Sergio Garcia hates Tiger Woods because he’s black. That’s not what Garcia said in using fried chicken in his latest feeble attempt to disparage Woods. It’s what he inferred, and that’s usually what happens when people have problems with people. They infer.
At the very least Garcia, the silliest player to not win a major golf championship, has a problem with Woods’ race. Why else would he answer a question at a dinner in London Tuesday by saying Woods “could come over every night. We will serve fried chicken.”
His apologists will say Garcia made a weak and misguided attempt at a joke. For his part, he issued a statement through the European Tour that sounded like it was scripted by “Olivia Pope”:
“I apologize for any offense that may have been caused by my comment on stage during the European Tour Players’ Awards dinner. I answered a question that was clearly made towards me as a joke with a silly remark, but in no way was the comment meant in a racist manner.”
That does not mean it wasn’t racist, even though, for the life of me, I do not understand how fried chicken (and watermelon, for that matter) got to be this “black thing.” White people enjoy it, too; and other races. Right?
Anyway, Garcia is fooling no one in saying he did not have racist intentions. He could have named pizza or steak or shrimp and grits. It apparently was too much for him to say, nothing or “He can come over every night. We will serve paella.”
Instead he went with the old enigmatic, tired attempt to insult a black man. And therein lies a real problem that we just cannot escape: 16 years after Fuzzy Zoeller ruined his name with a fried chicken “joke” about Woods, here goes Garcia further diminishing his profile.
At least Zoeller won a Masters. Garcia has earned millions but has not won on the largest stages. Now, he shows he’s a loser as a man, too.
Here’s the sad part: Who among us is surprised Garcia—or most anyone on the non-black-except-Tiger Woods-tour —would go there? Woods’ old caddie, Steve Williams, who made millions off the talent of Woods, called him a “black a——” in 2011 at a caddie event. Imagine what was said about Woods in private places, especially when he was exposed as a philandering husband with an apparent affinity for white women.
Having dealt with many PGA pros over the years, I can testify with confidence that Garcia’s and Zoeller’s comments do not reflect on all tour players. Most are seemingly good guys who understand Woods’ value to their sport, even if he has been a jerk or, at minimum, impersonal to many.
In fact, all of this is a bit silly because Woods barely acknowledges his blackness. He could have buried Zoeller, but took the high road. Woods said Williams was “certainly not” a racist after he insulted him. It will be interesting to see how he handles Garcia’s gaffe because Woods made it clear he does not like the Spaniard.
Whether Woods acknowledges the blackness in his mixed heritage is not the point, though; everyone else does. He’s a black man atop a white man’s sport, and that is part of his magnetism. It also makes him a polarizing figure and target of idiotic remarks by the likes of Sergio Garcia.
More to come, you can be certain of that.