Tiger, Sergio, fried chicken and misplaced racism

“You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year. Got it? Or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve.”

-Fuzzy Zoeller, in reference to what Tiger Woods would serve at the annual Masters dinner after winning the tournament in 1997

“If you don’t like fried chicken and watermelon, there’s something wrong with you!”

-Dave Chappelle

I rarely talk about race.  Six hundred posts into a proud SportsChump history, I’ve learned there are certain issues to avoid.  Just like friendly conversation inside your neighborhood watering hole, any discussion of politics or religion is, or at least should be, strictly verboten.  I have my own beliefs about race and religion and don’t pretend to impose them upon others.

SergioThat being said, let’s talk about fried chicken.

Only a few days ago, I wrote about how the rivalry between Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia had heated back up.  Little did I know, Sergio was about to set that burner to high.

Two weeks ago, Garcia crumbled under the pressure of Mount Tiger, recording a quadruple bogey on the 17th hole at Sawgrass, falling from first to seventh place.  His recent faux pas, however, was far more damaging than any tee shot put in the drink.

Imagine, if you will, a golf awards show, a reporter with a microphone, plenty of tuxedos, most likely an overpriced dinner and one hopelessly ill-advised statement about race.  A reporter from the Golf Channel, Steve Sands, asked Sergio whether he would invite Tiger to dinner at the upcoming US Open.  Now I’m not sure why this question was asked.  This year’s U.S. Open will be held in Pennsylvania and I’m pretty sure the Spaniard doesn’t live anywhere in the vicinity but nonetheless, Sands asked the question, setting it up on a tee and this time, the Spaniard did not disappoint, booming a delicious sound bite right down the middle of the fairway.

“We’ll have him round every time.  We will serve fried chicken.”

How’s that golf cleat taste, Serg?  Oh, to hear the silence in the room after that comment.  Nothing but racist crickets everywhere.

69th Senior PGA Championship - Round TwoFifteen years earlier, Fuzzy Zoeller reminded us what a little healthy racism on tour is all about, recommending that Tiger not serve fried chicken and collard greens at the annual Masters dinner after winning at Augusta National.  As you can imagine, he caused quite a stir.  Just like Michael Richards after his ill-fated, comedy club rant, Zoeller, a popular golfer on tour, was never looked at the same way again, unable to escape those comments.  But Zoeller hails from just outside Kentucky.  If nothing else, his comments were understandable knowing our nation’s struggles with racism in the South.

You could at least see them coming.

But what exactly did Sergio mean with his fried chicken line?  Is he a racist?  Was it homage to Fuzzy’s fifteen minutes fifteen years earlier?  Was he trying to show us he has a sense of humor?  And what the hell does a Spaniard know about fried chicken and its racist connotations anyway?   I guess we have Zoeller to thank for expanding our own particular brand of racism across the pond.

In my most humble opinion, Sergio was trying in his own feeble way to poke fun back at Tiger without realizing how sensitive we still are to race in this country.  By no means am I defending Sergio’s misplaced and totally unoriginal racism.  His comments will likely alienate what little of a fan base he has left, not to mention warrant a fair amount of heckling at the upcoming Open.  If I were Serg, I’d avoid making eye contact with any of the darker-skinned fans in the gallery just in case.

Kobe refFor one second, let’s imagine Sergio played in the NBA, a primarily African-American sports league run by a minority commissioner who is sensitive to such manners. Two years ago, Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 for hurling a gay slur at an official.  I can only imagine what dropping a fried chicken comment would cost a player, not to mention the foul he’d receive from a black man twice his size the next time he drove the lane.

Fortunately for Sergio, the PGA Tour and its fan base are considerably whiter, with only one, real African-American of note.  Unfortunately for Sergio, that African-American just happens to be the best golfer on the planet.

So enjoy your sangria and paella, Serg, and continue to apologize for what you know not.  Those apologies will fall on deaf ears.  And if you’re going to be racist, please make sure you’re well-versed in such matters, perhaps picking up a history book or better yet, season one of the Dave Chappelle show, a little more creative next time rather than using someone else’s trite, old material.

In the meantime, the rest of us will be enjoying our fried chicken.

41 thoughts on “Tiger, Sergio, fried chicken and misplaced racism

  1. “You can’t fix stupid”. Ron White
    You should get some real interesting comments my friend. Good luck with that.

  2. Kobe showed is immaturity with that slur and I still believe him to be an immature oaf ! Simply look at the infidelity issue and is repeated lies concerning is relationship with actress Sanaa Lathan , before he returned to the arms of is wife .

    I find it totally repugnant tat Tim O`Grady, Chairman of the European Tour only chooses to issue a public apology to Woods . Yet he does noting to by way of fine or some form of punishment to Sergio Garcia . Politically correct or not this is all so asinine . I seem to remember not so long ago you were trying to suggest to me that the US and world has come a long way in terms of race relations ? Care to now comment on that after this idiocy ?

    I`m still having a hard time myself , trying to figure out the horrors of an event tat took place in London where tree young Muslim young men hacked to death a former British serviceman in broad daylight in front of hundreds of bystanders and not a damn thing was done .

    tophatal …………….

  3. Aer…

    I think mine is a pretty liberal crowd but we shall see.

    The whole thing was just on my mind so I figured I’d spark a little dialogue.

    Can’t hurt, right?

  4. The Iberian peninsular were Garcia comes from remains intolerant and is known to be very much an element and a hotbed of seething racism and anti Antisemitism. Just thought I would throw that in as a passing piece for you to chew on .

    Garcia`s stupidity is only overlooked by the fact tat e is a damn coward , who didn`t have the balls to issue an immediate public apology for his comments right away . Instead , he had to be persuaded to issue an apology by senior officials on the European PGA Tour .

    tophatal …………………..

  5. Al…

    Sergio’s European and this happened overseas. I’m not sure what that has to do with race relations in THIS country.

    I think if one of the younger, new breed American golfers made a similar comment, there would be far larger social outcry. I mean, nobody really liked Sergio anyway. Whaddaya think?

    Should the PGA Tour slap Serg on the wrist with some sort of fine for his statements? There’s obviously no protocol for that. I mean, this is the PGA we’re talking about.

  6. Good for Sergio Garcia. Whether in good taste or bad, at least he’s injecting something into the MOST BORING sport on the planet. Keep up the good work dude.

  7. WOW! I debated on whether to say anything to address this or not. I wrestled with should I be serious and provide an intellectual discourse that would get folk to thinking, provide some short whimsical comic relief. Then I thought of this group, and, well the comment speaks for itself. 🙂
    First, let me say racism is alive and well in this country, make no mistake about it. While I can defer that we have come a long way since pre-civil rights movement, that in no way suggests that the current level is acceptable. It isn’t!
    Now that I’ve got that out…let me say to Sergio, that if I was getting my ass kicked by Tiger 9 out of 10 times, or experienced the Tiger meltdown whenever I played with him, I might consider changing my diet…and perhaps, I’ll have what he’s having!

  8. Mony…

    So you’re suggesting Sergio go for a little KFC? (I ATE THE BONES!)

    Has anyone noticed the jpeg on the main page for this post?

    I thought that might warrant a chuckle or two. C’mon, guys, we’re slipping.

  9. Is Fuzzio Garcia racist? Who knows, but Chump dropping a sangria line could be misconstrued just as easily. I think the whole world needs to lighten up on words….Mainly because they’re just words…Whatever happend to sticks and stones?

    Those looking for something to be offended about are always going to find it, intended or not.

    Why is it comedians can stereotype and get away with it but no one else can?…Whatever.

    Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing and shouldn’t be infringed…Just understand that it sometimes comes with consequences…Especially when you’re a famous golfer. I may not agree with what he said, but I’d defend to the death his right to say it…As every American should.

    BTW…PCness be damned, thank God there are still folks willing to speak their mind…meaning…Snake is a funny MFer.

  10. Bleed…

    I don’t think anyone here would argue against one’s freedom of speech. Those who say stupid shit just have to suffer the consequences of their actions.

    And remember, Chappelle, Pryor and all those comedians who tackled issues such as race in the manner they did were still considered controversial. They were just brilliant in doing so. Their greatest contribution, other than making us laugh out loud, is that they succeeded in opening dialogue about serious matters in an unconventional way.

    I guess that was one of the points of the piece. I think Sergio was just trying to be funny but in a totally unoriginal an unimaginative way. Not to mention that fact that way more like Tiger than could ever give a fuck about Serg.

    Oh, and Snake is funny alright…. lookin’.

  11. I’m just saying…couldn’t hurt… certainly not his game…unless he ate the bones!:)

  12. IMO Fuzzy Zellar is a racist. With “Tin Cup” Garcia, I will not comment.

    I will say that the PGA is filled with hypocrisy. Do you think the good ole boys in Atlanta appreciated Tiger dominating their Masters?

    Ah stop this crap and let’s move on.

  13. Words can be used to elicit to hate and anyone who believes otherwise, simply look towards the venom and hatred espoused not <b during the rise of The Third Reich but also the era known here as the fight for civil rights .Or is tat we now excuse apathy and have replaced with sheer stupidity ?

    tophatal ……………..

  14. The PGA Tour much like the European Tour is presided over a bunch outmoded archaic Caucasians from a bygone age . Look at executives who preside over the committees on both Tours , and simply play spot someone of ethnicity .

    How is Pastor Fred Jones now doing in the city of Tampa now that his bigoted being has been welcomed with open arms ? Not content with chastising every ethnic race under the sun, he now brings his venomous bigotry to your locale ? Let me know when he calls or for lynching of a few blacks and the beheading of a follower of Islam .

    Still believe the country as moved on from the era of the sixties , full throttle ?

  15. Sergio is an aging player who as failed to live up to expectations and it will continue to be that way . Can we also now stop with this idiocy also , of him being the best player never to win a Major .

  16. I’m not defending racism at all…however, the traditional dinner served at Augusta National is fried chicken and collard greens unless the defending champion requests something other than that.

    I think we love to brandish people racists in this country as its sill great press. Sergio’s comments were blatantly obviously racist. Were Fuzzy’s. was there even a discussion about the possibility that they weren’t?

  17. I’m scared to admit liking fried chicken, though I don’t eat it much, in this healthy age we live in.

    Honestly, Sergio and Tiger is not a rivalry… Sergio just can’t get it done and he’s not relevant enough, unless he chokes or does something stupid verbally. Tiger isn’t even worth being talked about this much anymore, either, because he isn’t winning majors.

  18. Is tophatal totally losing it?
    Who the fuck is Pastor Fred Jones??? Does he mean Pastor Terry Jones or Pastor Fred Phelps? It could be either one of those two assholes. They have so much in common, both being major haters.

  19. We agree on one thing for sure, Al.

    Sergio isn’t the best player to never win a major.

    In fact, which current golfer has more tour victories without winning one?

    Any guesses?

  20. Michael will hereby be representing the Zoeller party in all future proceedings.

    Too bad it took anyone fifteen years to tell us that fried chicken and collard greens are the menu norm at Augusta.

    That information might have saved him years of angst.

  21. KP…

    Tiger’s still four for seven this year. I’d say that warrants a little conversation, no?

    And come on, you know in this day and age, we talk about things that don’t matter.

    Look at how much we talked about the Lakers.

  22. Snake…

    I do believe he lost it long ago.

    Pastor Terry Porter had a nice, long range jumper for Portland back in the day and Pastor Michael Phelps, well, he has a nice collection of Olympic bongs and I believe he’s now doing Subway commercials.

    Eat fresh.

  23. Wait, wasn’t it a follower of islam who just beheaded someone in England? And I love fried chicken and collard greens….does that make me racist? I’m so confused.

  24. Bleed…

    Join the club.

    And we should probably have public beheadings in this country. Imagine the pay-per-view possibilities.

    Wait a minute, we already have that. It’s called UFC.

  25. Chris

    Let me ask you this , how many players having won a Major over the last five seasons ave gone on to win at least a second ?

    When you have one hit wonders such as Micheel , Ben Crane and others of that ilk , why be overly concerned ?

    Based on what I am now seeing seen , I can`t see the Rays winning more than 85 games at this juncture based on the rate that Rodney has been blowing saves .

    Is Maddon truly that implicitly faithful in skill-set of Fernando Rodney ? The team`s bullpen is not as good as advertised .

    tophatal ………………..

  26. Al…

    Another late-inning catastrophe for the Rays.

    It’s about time Maddon go back to the drawing board with his bullpen or at least instruct them the importance of not walking the lead-off batter.

    And the Spurs, man. What else can we say about Tim Duncan that hasn’t already been said?

    Top ten players all-time? Name ten better than him.

  27. Chris

    The Rays simply have not got the resources to go out and get a relief pitcher on the free agency market .

    Rays pitching performances during the games this season .

    Refer back to my piece with additional comments on Fernando Rodney and let me know what you think ?

    In the series between the Spurs and Grizzlies , it simply has not been Duncan alone . Simply look at the team`s stats in the postseason and in each of the Spurs` playoff victories .

    The Spurs` Big Tree of Tim Duncan , Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli have been on fire , all postseason long . What else would you expect from a Gregg Popovich coached team ? .

    Zach Randolph and his teammates remain on an emotional high after their series` victory over the Thunder . Unfortunately , for them , what Lionel Hollins failed to tell them , is get as equally prepared to face the Spurs , who are a far more experienced team .

    I would rank Duncan as the best power forward of all time ! In terms of top-ten players , I would have to rank him in my top ten players over the past decade and a half ! Most definitely he would be ranked in my top-ten of ! He just surpassed a number of distinguished players by notching his one hundred and fifty first double-double in postseason play . Damn !

    tophatal …………..

  28. Snake

    Jones referred to himself as Fred Jones when in Germany during the eighties , when in Cologne giving a speech to a several right wing groups that ignited a race riot , leading to the death of two young Muslim men . I was stationed there with the British Royal Marines on joint troop exercises with several European forces as part of a UN and NATO exercise .

    tophatal

  29. Al…

    Rodney and Peralta are perfectly capable pitchers. They proved that last year. They just need to remedy what they’re doing wrong.

    Re: Spurs-Grizz, I totally thought the Grizz would be able to even things up at home. I was wrong. This thing might be a sweep if they’re not careful. Oh, and your boy Tim Duncan is 37 years old. How awesome is that!

    He’s 22nd all-time in points scored (6th active) and 13th all-time in career rebounds (2nd active).

    Top power forward of all-time? I’d say so. I do feel Karl Malone gets little love when that question was asked but the fact that Duncan anchored four championship teams gives him the nod over most anyone.

  30. As Bugs Bunny said in the Looney Tunes cartoons , that’s all folks ! Memphis was a spent force coming into the series against the Spurs . Their (Grizzlies) postseason ig came when they defeated the Thunder . `nough said !

    Duncan at 37 , is better than more than half the power forwards …. now playing in the NBA .

    The best the Rays might be able to hope for this season could very well be the wildcard berth in the AL .

    tophatal ………….

  31. Al…

    I was discussing this with a friend last night.

    The San Antonio Spurs are friggin’ GANGSTA!

    There’s something to be said for just saying to a team, we’re going to beat you at YOUR game.

    We understand your strengths (Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph) and we are just going to shut them down, which they did.

    A sweep, Al? Memphis is a team most pundits were saying could beat Miami in a seven-game series. I guess San Antonio had something to say about that.

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