Tuesday, January 8, 2008

When Lynching Became Funny!

So I just wrote a piece a little while back posing the question, is America still racist. Well I got somewhat of an answer this past Friday. An anchor on the Golf Channel named Kelly Tilghman was talking about Tiger Woods’ dominance of all things golf related and she went on to say that the young players on the PGA Tour should “lynch Tiger Woods in a back alley.” WHAT??!!?!?!?!?!?!?

That is a pretty bold statement to say the least. However this isn’t Tiger Woods’ first time being the butt of racially driven “humor”. In 1997, fellow tour member Fuzzy Zoeller repeatedly called Tiger Woods a “little boy” in an interview and said “You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year…or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve.” These reckless statements came after Woods had just become the first African American to win a major golf tournament, with his record setting display at the Masters.

Though Tilghman’s comments were less detailed than Zoeller’s, she was just as crude, if not more, for her statements. Kelly Tilghman is the first woman to become a full time play-by-play announcer in PGA Tour history so she should be able to appreciate Woods’ ability to overcome adversity and do things that before him were unprecedented. But instead of respecting what he’s done for golf (he’s probably one of the few reasons there even is a Golf Channel), she wants to see him “lynched” because his supremacy of the game is making it difficult for other players to win. Is she serious? Tilghman apparently made an apology on Sunday and is trying to reach out to Tiger Woods and his representatives so they can talk personally.

After 2007, a year where America had quite a few derogatory statements and gestures made (Don Imus, Dog Chapman, Isaiah Washington, etc.) and almost 11 years after Fuzzy Zoeller made the worst of his camera time, you would think people would be wise enough to leave this kind of "humor" alone. Maybe when Kelly Tilghman gets in touch with Tiger Woods she should take him out for some fried chicken and collard greens; that should lighten the mood.



  1. Kelly is a "MAJOR" home run for The Golf Channel, a GRAND SLAM!...and she would be for any network. She is a wonderful and knowledgable commentator. I truly hope this story dies here and now. If Kelly is guilty of anything, it's simply of not thinking before she speaks and it's a shame we have to be so careful about what we say. If she were talking about say, Phil Mickelson (as in a white man), we all know this story would have had no legs. Come on America! Let the lady talk, you know she meant no harm. The racism lies in the hearts of all the people who are accusing her of the same. Like the people who belong to all of those "black" organizations of America, where in you don't see any so called "white" organizations of America, that's racism! Pardon the pun but look who's calling the kettle black.

    Craig Warren
    Columbia, CT

  2. Craig you definitely make some valid points. I personally agree with her being suspended and not fired like Imus was. However Kelly's comments were inappropriate whether she was talking about Mickelson, Nicklaus, Singh or Els. She was put on television for her ability to speak well about the sport and its players so saying that any of them should be "lynched in a back alley" is just a bad choice of words despite the race of the player she made reference to. Golf is an eloquently played sport and the announcers need to speak in the same manner.

    Thanks for taking time out to read & comment Craig, we appreciate it.


  3. "Like the people who belong to all of those "black" organizations of America, wherein you don't see any so-called "white" organizations of America, that's racism!"

    Craig, you are completely correct, but I believe we are on two different sides of the fence. Those organizations ARE a pure example of racism.

    Caucasians' racism.

    Think back to a time when blacks were openly ostracized and ridiculed by whites - when we couldn't sit in their seats or drink from their fountains or go to their schools, what did you expect us to do? Of course, we were going to create our own establishments and uplift our people instead of being treated like inferior peons. If we didn't stand for ourselves, who would stand for us? Certainly not white folks.

    "Let the lady talk, you know she meant no harm."
    Craig, lynching is deep-rooted in African/ African-American history forever - the connotation has never been a positive one, and never will be. Kelly's comment should NOT be taken lightly.

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