Earlier this week I posted a question on my facebook page after listening to another golfer mention in jest the term “Fried Chicken” when talking about Tiger Woods. The question I posed was this why is it when some golfers want to attack Tiger there is always a reference of Fried Chicken as to offend his African American ancestry when Tiger himself does not claim to be just African American. Why not make stereotypical jokes about his Asian, Native American or Dutch heritage? A few of the responses were “some choose to hate when they can’t relate” “they can’t beat him on the golf course so they use hurtful words to beat him” and “the world is letting him(Tiger) know who he is even if he doesn’t want to acknowledge and fully embrace his African roots.
I guess what troubles me about this latest incident with Sergio Garcia is that he too is a minority. What does it say about the lack of respect and compassion we are now experiencing when a member of one oppressed group demeans someone from another with futile stereotypical humor in an arena where both are considered outsiders. To Tiger’s credit he remained above the pettiness , yet the lasting impact of this exchange which was played up on social and mainstream media still continues. Of course there are those who back Garcia such as Golfer and Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley “ People make mistakes and say things all the time that they regret and didn’t mean. Sergio was very remorseful about it and we move on” Move on hmm, its always suggested that African Americans move on after being on the receiving end of either verbal, systematic, or physical abuse my question to those who suggest this course of action, if we keep moving on then who will be left to deal with the issue? I wonder if McGinley would be as quick to move on if Garcia told the joke about the red head drunken Irishman,the priest and … Myself along with many of you enjoy listening to our favorite comedians spout offensive racist remarks and pay good money to hear their diatribes within that context, however when these type of incidents continue to rear their ugly head is it really as simple as forgive and forget, How can me move on when we keep getting dragged back into the fray?
My hope is that Sergio learned a valuable and humbling lesson of sensitivity from this mishap and is truly remorseful and not apologizing out of fear of losing sponsors (surprisingly there was no real backlash) and comes to realize that he is not immune to such hurt just because he can drive a little white ball on a beautiful green golf course into a black hole. If not I suggest Sergio do a little research of his beloved Spain’s sordid history with slavery to realize why his joke didn’t leave of us rolling in the aisles.