Sergio Garcia apologizes for ‘fried chicken’ remark about Tiger Woods (updated)


There was a brief handshake between Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods when the two finished their round together in The Players Championship.  (Gerald Herbert / AP)

Updated at 8:40 a.m.with Tiger Woods’ response

The feud between Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods took another little turn Tuesday night, one that caused Garcia to apologize — an apology that rang hollow with Woods.

The feud openly flared when the two played together in The Players Championship (AP)
The feud openly flared in The Players Championship (AP)

Garcia said he was joking when he used a racial stereotype about African-Americans in comments he made at the European Tour’s awards dinner for players. He was asked by Steve Sands of the Golf Channel, emcee of the event in London, if he’d be inviting Woods to dinner during next month’s U.S. Open.

“We will have him ’round every night,” García said (via The Guardian). “We will serve fried chicken.”

Garcia’s remark quickly went viral and he issued an apology through the European Tour.

“I apologize for any offense that may have been caused by my comment on stage during the European Tour Players’ Awards dinner. 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.”

Woods responded on Twitter this morning:

 

 

 

Garcia’s remark surprised the crowd, with one player, whom the Daily Mail didn’t name, telling a reporter: “You didn’t hear that.”

 

Lee Westwood told the Daily Mail that he didn’t expect Woods would be bothered by the remark, although there’s been no comment from him yet.

“It’s an awkward situation where they obviously just don’t get on,” Westwood said. “It’s in the public and you guys [in 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.”

At this point, perhaps Garcia should probably just stop talking about Woods, who has heard a “fried chicken” barb before. After Woods won the Masters at 21 in 1997, Fuzzy Zoeller called him “that little boy” and urged him not to request “fried chicken or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve” at the champions’ dinner the next year.

Zoeller initially claimed he was joking, then apologized.

Two years ago, when Adam Scott won a tournament with Steve Williams, Woods’s former caddie, on the bag, Williams said his “aim was to shove it right up that black [backside].” Williams apologized and Woods said he is “certainly not racist.”

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More

Tiger Woods vs. Sergio Garcia: And the sniping goes on

Call Garcia? Woods says, “No.”

Garcia: “We don’t enjoy each other’s company.”

Woods wins as Garcia falters

Marshals back Garcia

Other marshals back Woods

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren | May 21, 2013