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If famed swing coach Hank Haney was looking for a defender in former student Tiger Woods following his suspension from the SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio channel for racist comments made about Korean LPGA competitors, it appears he’s out of luck.
Following an even-par second round at this weekend’s Memorial Tournament, Woods was asked about Haney’s suspension. He didn’t have much sympathy for the 63-year-old:
Tiger on former-swing coach-turned-author Hank Haney being suspended: "Just can't look at life like that. And he obviously said what he meant, and he got what he deserved."
— Doug Ferguson (@dougferguson405) May 31, 2019
That’s a strong stance on Haney from Woods, and also somewhat predictable given the pair went through a less-than-amicable split in 2010. It also might be what Haney deserved given the degree of which he buried himself over comments on the LPGA’s U.S. Women’s Open.
What got Hank Haney into so much trouble?
While airing a prediction segment for the U.S. Women’s Open with fellow instructor Steve Johnson that was captured by Golf News Net Radio, Haney offered an extremely questionable prediction:
Johnson: This week is the 74th U.S. Women’s Open, Hank.
Haney: Oh is it? I’m going to predict a Korean. OK?
Johnson (laughing): OK, that’s a pretty safe bet.
Haney: That’s going to be my prediction. I could name you like six players on the LPGA tour. No, maybe I couldn’t. Ah, well, I’d go with Lee. If I didn’t have to name a first name I’d get a bunch of them right.
At that point, a “So you’re telling me there’s a chance” clip from “Dumb and Dumber” was played and Haney indicated he didn’t know any other competitors beyond Michelle Wie.
That was the beginning. After discussing some other topics, Haney and Johnson apparently caught wind of some people criticizing their comments. Haney responded by proclaiming he isn’t a racist, offering a typical “I’m sorry you were offended” apology, then playfully threatening to limit discussion about the LPGA on the PGA Tour station.
This was how Hank Haney and his co-host "tweeted through it" on the air. pic.twitter.com/UsdiWaRNrh
— Sean Zak (@Sean_Zak) May 29, 2019
Predictably, that initial apology only sparked more outrage. Wie herself was one of a number of LPGA athletes who blasted Haney, and the PGA Tour soon released a statement with SiriusXM, calling Haney’s comments “insensitive” and announcing that he had been suspended from the channel.
Haney later released a somewhat better apology through Twitter, but it’s really not hard to see why Woods, who is part-Asian, is taking the side of his former swing coach’s critics right here.
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