Sergio Garcia / Tiger Woods 'fried chicken' racism row takes fresh twist after 'coloured athletes' comment
European Tour chief executive George O'Grady immediately apologises for causing offence
The racism row involving Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods took a fresh twist today following comments from European Tour chief executive George O'Grady.
When discussing the decision not to sanction Garcia, O'Grady used the phrase "coloured athletes".
It came after Garcia issued an unreserved apology after suggesting at the Tour's annual dinner on Tuesday night he would serve Woods with fried chicken if he came to dinner.
During a Q&A session involving the full Ryder Cup team hosted by the Golf Channel's Steve Sands, Garcia was asked if he would invite Woods to dinner one night during the upcoming US Open to settle their differences, which resurfaced at the Players Championship this month.
"We will have him round every night," Garcia said. "We will serve fried chicken."
The European Tour has been criticised for accepting Garcia's apology and considering the matter closed, with O'Grady telling Sky Sports today: "There's absolutely no cosiness about this at all.
"We take this very seriously as does he. He's convinced us just how seriously he takes it and that's why we've had to draw a line under this thing.
"Any hint of this feeling has no place on the European Tour, all races play on the European Tour and that's how we're going to keep it. That's how we want to be.
"Most of Sergio's friends happen to be coloured athletes in the United States, he is absolutely abject in his apology and we accepted it."
O'Grady has now apologised.
He said: "I deeply regret using an inappropriate word in a live interview for Sky Sports, for which I unreservedly apologise."
Woods responded to the remark by Garcia via his Twitter account: "The comment that was made wasn't silly," Woods wrote. "It was wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate. I'm confident that there is real regret that the remark was made."
In December 2011, BBC pundit Alan Hansen issued an apology for twice using the word "coloured" to describe black footballers on Match of the Day when discussing the John Terry and Luis Suarez racism cases.
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal joins Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Sami Khedira
Mario Balotelli takes 50 per cent pay cut to join Liverpool as Samuel as Eto’o waits in the wings if deal falls through
Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
Click here for the full story." title="When a youngster asked for an autograph outside Manchester City's training ground, Balotelli demanded to know why the boy was playing truant. After the child revealed he was being bullied, Balotelli drove the boy and his mother to the school in question so he could tackle the bully himself. He demanded to see the headmaster to make him aware of the issue and then mediated between the two boys to resolve the problem. A source said: 'Mario feels strongly about bullying.' Click here for the full story." width="88" height="52" />Mario Balotelli: The funniest stories
- 1 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for beauty pageant
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile