Lewis W. Diuguid

Tiger Woods again has to contend with ‘fried chicken’ remark

Updated: 2013-06-16T00:05:56Z

By Lewis W. Diuguid

The Kansas City Star

People would think that with Tiger Woods having earned the world’s top golfer spot that his rivals would get past making racist remarks to him.

But apparently that’s not the case. Fuzzy Zoeller in 1997 drew ire when he remarked after Woods won the Masters about ordering fried chicken for the championship dinner. Sergio Garcia, 33, said at a recent awards dinner in London that he would serve fried chicken if the two competitors dined at the U.S. Open.

According to the ages-old stereotype, black people have an inhuman love for fried chicken. Garcia apologized in a note to Woods.

Woods, 37, wrote on Twitter the remark was “wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate.” Woods now wants to just get on with the tournament.

He’s right not to let such things distract him. No African American in a leadership position can afford to become bogged down like that.

But that racist moment raises the question, “At what point will Woods or any African American in a position previously held only by whites ever rocket past the stereotypes attached to being black and just be the world’s best in his/her field — regardless of race?” Jackie Robinson faced slurs and racist hate mail nearly 70 years ago when he became the first African American player in Major League Baseball.

Woods and other blacks face it now. The obvious answer to the question of “when” these 50 years after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream” speech is such racism, with or without a following apology, won’t go away any time soon.

To reach Lewis W. Diuguid, call 816-234-4723 or send email to ldiuguid@kcstar.com.

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