Thursday, January 10, 2008

Is Tiger Woods a Racist?

Last Friday, the Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman had an unfortunate suggestion for young golfers, on how to defeat Tiger Woods:

Ms. Tilghman realized the mistake she had made and apologized. Tiger Woods has taken no offense according to his agent:

Woods and Tilghman have known each other 12 years. She was picked to host a club demonstration with Woods in south Florida when he talked about new products from Nike Golf.

Tilghman was helped when Mark Steinberg, Woods' agent at IMG, said it was a non-issue and considered the matter "case closed."

"Tiger and Kelly are friends, and Tiger has a great deal of respect for Kelly," Steinberg said Tuesday night in a statement released by Golf Channel. "Regardless of the choice of words used, we know unequivocally that there was no ill-intent in her comments."

Tilghman had said in a previous statement she apologized directly to Woods, and the immediate support from Woods' camp was critical.

The Golf Channel has suspended Tilghman for two weeks -- probably appropriate for an inadvertent poor choice of words -- especially when Woods himself vouches for her. It's not good enough for Al Sharpton, however:

"This cannot just go with, 'I apologize, me and Tiger are friends,'" [Sharpton] said. "We are in an era now where we see hangman's nooses all over again. I don't know why that would pop into her head, but it popped out of her mouth and she should be accountable."

Later, he added, "Are we at the point where you can talk about lynching and then walk away like it doesn't mean anything? Some things are beyond the pale of discussions. Some things, under any set of circumstances, you have got to be held accountable for using this kind of language."

One side benefit of a victory by Barack Obama in the Democratic primaries would be a 'changing of the guard' in terms of black leaders in this country. Episodes like this show that people like Al Sharpton will never change his act, always seeking to find racial offenses, regardless of circumstance. The sooner we can turn the page on his clown act, the better.

No comments: