There is always a line when athletes get in feuds that you just don't cross, but that changed on Tuesday night with the latest battle in the golf world.
Attending an awards dinner for the European Tour, Sergio Garcia was asked if he was planning on having Tiger Woods over for dinner during the U.S. Open considering the way the two had gone at each other since the Players Championship, and his response went from a war of words to downright ignorant.
Garcia, channeling his inner Fuzzy Zoeller, said, "We will have him round every night. We will serve fried chicken."
There are moments when things can be taken out of context, but when you're talking about racism, there just isn't a smile or a joking tone that can smooth things over. Garcia took what was a battle with the best golfer in the world, and of this generation, and turned it into something ugly.
You see, what people might not understand is this is something that Woods has had to deal with all his life on the golf course. There are documented moments when Tiger was told he couldn't play certain golf courses because of his skin color, and the 37 year old has done a great service to inner city youth with his Tiger Woods Foundation that gives opportunities to those that might not be able to afford it otherwise.
This isn't just a stupid comment from Garcia, it's bringing up things that should be avoided in 2013, especially from a man that always seems to think the world is up against him (Sorry Sergio, this one is totally and 100 percent on you).
According to the Guardian, Garcia has already come out and apologized through a statement issued by the European Tour.
"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."
Again, no matter if it was "meant in a racist way," the undertones behind that are racist and there isn't any changing that. Zoeller did this back in 1997, saying after Tiger's first Masters win, "You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not serve fried chicken next year. Got it? Or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve," and 16 years later it's still a really, really dumb thing to say.
Sergio isn't a kid anymore. He's 33 years old and has spent the better part of the last decade looking at anything and everything to blame besides himself (remember the way he handled the spitting in the cup incident?). Now he does this to end a battle between himself and Tiger that is now in a place that isn't fun anymore.
Woods is a man that doesn't forget even the little things that people do to cross him. I'd say that this will be lingering in the head of a man that has had the better part of this rivalry if and when the two face each other on the golf course again, and if the handshakes at Sawgrass were cold, the next one is going to be downright Arctic.
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