Sergio, Sergio, Sergio. The high-spirited Spaniard golfer has been very opinionated over the years and most recently, at the Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida just two weeks ago. During that tournament, Sergio Garcia, who was playing with Tiger Woods, was flustered when he hit an errant shot and then blamed it on Tiger. As Sergio was addressing his shot, Tiger, who had hit a bad shot on the hole, pulled a club out of his bag which produced an eruption from the gallery. Sergio took it as if Tiger purposely did this to disrupt his shot and from that moment on, It’s Been On!
After both players had completed the round, Sergio, instead of talking with Tiger about the issue, took it to the media and complained vehemently that Tiger did this on purpose. He added that Tiger isn’t a nice person on the tour and others felt the same but wouldn’t say anything about it. Tiger, who seemed blind-sided by the Hoopla, made a comment saying, “Sergio is always whining and complaining about something. What Now”? For two solid weeks, the back and forth has been going on, mostly on the part of Sergio.
On Tuesday night, during a European Awards Banquet, Sergio was asked by a Golf Channel writer if he would invite Tiger over for dinner, basically to squash their feud which prompted the following response: “We’ll have him round every night. We will serve fried chicken.” And with that comment, a firestorm has encircled around the embattled golfer.
Sergio is no stranger to controversy nor controversial statements but This one will be his demise. The Golf Channel, since the feud began two weeks ago, has highlighted some of Sergio’s missteps which included him spitting in a hole after having a terrible score. Kelly Tiglhman, Golf Channel host, made mention to how Garcia had skipped interviews and sniped, “Go and interview your boy Tiger”.
So on Wednesday morning, Garcia, in a press conference said, “I want to also apologize to my Ryder Cup teammates who were there last night for taking the shine away from a wonderful event, and finally and foremost, I want to apologize to Tiger to anyone I could have offended. I felt very sick about it and feel really bad, and just hope to settle things down and move on.” Yep, he felt sick about it because we live in a world of Instant Access to News. And the news spread like a wild fire with Sergio holding the matches that started it.
But this time, his whining, complaining and big mouth has caused ‘Race’ to the forefront of what has been deemed to be a Sport For the Rich and Elite.
Tiger has been exposed to and directly targeted in racially motivated language. After firing his long-time caddy, Stevie Williams, the caddy attended a “Caddies Dinner” in his homeland of Australia and was asked a question about his new golfer’s victory, Adam Scott’s with Tiger in the field. His response: “It was my aim to shove it right up that black a——.” Williams, too, apologized afterwards.
And after Tiger won his 1st major, the Master’s Tournament in 1997, fellow golfer Fuzzy Zoeller shocked the T.V. audience after he referenced fried chicken as a potential meal Woods may choose to serve at the Masters Champions’ dinner. Of course, Zoeller issued an apology for his comments but suffered dramatically in sponsorships and on the tour itself.
Tiger was quick to answer the racially insensitive comment by Sergio on Twitter. He said in three tweets,
“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.”
“The Players ended nearly two weeks ago and it’s long past time to move on and talk about golf.”
Sergio has been quick to talk to media showing his disdain for the #1 golfer in the world but now, he has to be even quicker to repair the damage HE caused, not just to Tiger, but to the African Americans who also watch, follow and are participate in one of the greatest individual sports in the world.
Golf is a Global sport which is played by All sorts of people. Black, White, Asian, Latino’s, Men, Women, Boys and Girls participate in this sport. In 2013, the 21st century for Heaven Sake, Race is still an Issue in our lives.
This is the world in which we live. Unfortunately, racial intolerance will Always be a part of our everyday lives. And when we try to get away from it in our sporting outlets, it will creep into our lives there as well. That’s because we will always have “Sergio’s” and “Zoeller’s” to make that possible.0