Tiger Woods Needs to Fight Sergio Garcia's Ignorance
Uncle Luke, the man who made the U.S. Supreme Court stand up for free speech, gets as nasty as he wants to be for Miami New Times. Today, Luke gives so,e advice to the world's most popular golfer.
It's high time Tiger Woods stops putting up with the blatant racism thrown at him. He needs to stand up to fools like his golfing rival, Sergio Garcia, who revealed his racist side during the European Tour Player of the Year Awards on May 21.
The Golf Channel's Steve Sands asked Garcia, a white Spaniard, if he would be inviting Woods for dinner at next month's U.S. Open. Garcia replied, "We'll be having him round every night... and serving him fried chicken." He's not the first imbecile from golf's lily-white establishment to deride Woods because of his race.
In 2007, after Woods won his first Masters title, golfer Fuzzy Zoeller made a similar joke about the food Tiger eats. Zoeller said: "You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year...or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve."
A year later the Golf Channel was forced to suspend anchor Kelly Tilghman for two weeks after she quipped that young players who wanted to challenge Tiger Woods should "lynch him in a back alley."
Every time a white commentator has said something like this, Tiger has either ignored the controversies or offered a tepid response. In Garcia's case, Tiger tweeted that the comments were "wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate...I'm confident that there is real regret that the remark was made." (Garcia later half apologized, saying, "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's not enough. Tiger should remember what it was like when he was a 14-year-old up-and-coming phenom speaking about racism in his chosen sport during a TV interview. "Every time I go to a major country club, you can always feel it, you can always sense it," Woods said then. "People are always staring at you. 'What are you doing here? You shouldn't be here.'"
Racists like Garcia will continue to take potshots at Woods because they know he doesn't like to claim his African American heritage. But he needs to show Garcia and everyone else in the sport of golf that he's not gonna take their crap anymore.
Tiger needs to show he is black and proud.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.