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.
20 thoughts on “Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia Spat Turns On Fried Chicken ‘Joke’”
Great job Curtis Bunn.
Loved it. Great article.
hate to critique, but, in the first paragraph, isn't that improper use of the word "infer"? sorry, it's just a pet peeve….
Thanks, Tzena, for reading the piece. And, nope, it is the correct usage. THANKS!!!
Ok but in scope of all things there are some things we SHOULD NOT let bother us because it should be expected (it's 2013). My mom used to say that "people can call you a dog but you don't have to sit up and bark like one". Basically saying that people can say whatever they want as long as they don't put their hands on you. We as African-Americans really need to do better at picking our battles and not let the media hype us up over some stupid comment(s) made by a very small and closed minded individual(s).
Great artice….spot on!
Great article…spot on!
Bro' I understand exactly from whence your sentiment comes. However having said that, Sergio Garcia MUST be called on the carpet for his clear attempt to take a racially tinged jab at the greatest competitor in his sport, Tiger Woods. I hear you when you say we've got to "pick" our battles and you're right we have many more pressing issues to deal with than things of this nature. But let's ask ourselves a question: Isn't our perception as a people internationally important? When you've got Black American businessmen going to places as far away as Japan and they are greeted at the airport with "what's up ni**a!" Yes we have a problem of poverty, unfair incarceration, the glass ceiling etc. but this is not a problem (racially tinged jabs from the so-called majority) that should be swept under the proverbial rug. Other ethnicities stand up for themselves when they are slandered. Let's make Tiger Woods Jewish (I know a religion really but bear with me) and let's have Sergio say "I'll have him over for some bagels and lox and matzoh balls" Oh I think the repercussions for Mr. Garcia would be MUCH more severe. In fact I think he would probably be asked to take a short or perhaps even a long break from the PGA tour. I believe there is a grave importance in protecting our image (although the current rap community does nearly everything in it's power to make us look like fools).
I appreciate your response kind gentleman but really, fried chicken?! Let's tune into any "Hot 97" station and see how many of our youth drop the "n" word carelessly and effortlessly. I think that alone does more to hurt our image than any fried chicken or watermelon joke because I've seen people of all persuasions eating and ENJOYING both. I think that fact kind of renders his attempt at a racial jab, a complete miss.
No my brother it was a hit. and "but really, fried chicken?" of course bro' let's not engage in insulting each others intelligence, this is certainly not about "fried chicken" what it's about is Sergio Garcia's full knowledge of the images that are conjured around the world when you refer to a Black man or woman for that matter in connection with fried chicken and watermelon. Let's not be naive here. Internationally there is no ignorance of the racist images that are conjured when certain words are used in conjunction. Europeans are fully aware of the history of the minstrel show and it's demeaning characters possibly the most well known of which is the coon. The words fried chicken used in the same sentence as a Black man conjure these racist, demeaning, oppressive, and insensitive images. Additionally, let's not forget the fairly recent unfortunate history of the PGA tour an organization that not until the last 17 years started to even "welcome" Blacks and other minorities into their fold. No bro' let's not reduce this with a flippant reference to fried chicken, this is about much more than that.
And the "n" word does not conjure up those very same images?
of course it does, yes we have volunteer coons, bucks, and oversexed pic-a-ninnies running around in our backyard and they are certainly a concern, but my concern right now is someone completely outside of our race and culture calling us coons to our collective faces. Again let's not be naive here, if Sergio Garcia had invited a Jewish or Hebrew nemesis over for bagels and lox the "uproar" we are currently bearing witness to would pale in comparison. I wouldn't be surprised if he wouldn't be announcing his "retirement" from the PGA tour effective immediately. Maybe this will change your tune, the PGA has already put out a statement "Let's move forward and put this behind us" that is the statement of an organization that collectively doesn't really give a damn that the African-American community may have been insulted by the remarks of one of their players. Let's not forget their very tarnished, fairly recent history of exclusivity.
my good man, my comment about fried chicken was not, in any way, trying to insult anyone's intelligence. i'm just flabbergasted on the things we get ticked off about and the things we should, we don't. that was the point of saying that. i just wanted to clarify.
Well said, Curtis. Very insightful.
Bigg Joe, I couldn't agree more. Nice job!
Thank you, Anita!!!
We must first respect ourselves my good friend. We keep putting the cart before the horse.
Curtis Bunn . You are wrong about the usage. The correct word is "implied" not inferred. Way to go Tzena!