Sergio Garcia apologises for 'fried chicken' remark aimed towards Tiger Woods
Ryder Cup winner made 'silly remark' about world No. 1 at European Tour gala dinner
Sergio Garcia has apologised for remarks aimed at Tiger Woods that sparked a racism controversy at the European Tour’s gala dinner in London on Tuesday night.
Asked when he would be inviting Woods round for dinner at the US Open next month, the Spaniard replied “he can come every night - we will serve fried chicken.”
The racist overtones caused a stir at the prestigious European Tour Player Awards and continued an ill-tempered transatlantic exchange with Woods following their latest fall-out at the Players Championship a fortnight ago.
"I apologise for any offense that may have been caused by my comment on stage during the European Tour Players' Awards dinner," Garcia said. "I answered a question that was clearly made towards me as a joke with a silly remark, but in no way was the comment meant in a racist manner."
Garcia followed Fuzzy Zoeller through the casual racism trap door, falling the wrong side of what is acceptable in banter. After Woods record victory at the 1997 Masters Zoeller said: “You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not serve fried chicken next year. Got it? Or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve."
Like Garcia, Zoeller apologised, claiming his remarks had been misconstrued. But the stain lingers 15 years later.
Asked for his reaction to Garcia's comment on Twitter, Graeme McDowell wrote: "private/humor filled environment but he shouldn't have said it £slip," while Lee Westwood felt Woods would not be "particularly bothered" by it.
"It's an awkward situation where they obviously just don't get on," Westwood added. "It's in the public and you guys (the media) will stoke it up and you don't need to.
"I get on with both of them but I have no interest of getting in the middle of that relationship. It's nothing to do with me."
Latest in Sport
Manchester United transfer news: United given new hope in race for Juan Cuadrado as Barcelona talks stall
Manchester United transfer news: United close in on Arsenal’s Thomas Vermaelen
Manchester City transfer news: Frank Lampard heads to Etihad as pre-New York City FC stopgap
Liverpool transfer news: Brendan Rodgers plans more Anfield signings this summer
Commonwealth Games 2014: Usain Bolt eases Jamaica into men's relay final
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc