Sergio Garcia isn’t the only one putting his foot in his mouth this week. George O’Grady, chief executive of the European Tour, found himself apologizing after an interview with Sky Sports about Garcia.
O’Grady, in an interview with Sky Sports, said of Garcia’s racist remark about inviting Tiger Woods for fried chicken dinner: “We know the connotation in the United States. We accept all races on the European Tour; we take it very strongly. Most of Sergio’s friends are colored athletes in the United States, and he is absolutely abject in his apology and we accepted it.
“All races play on the European Tour, and that’s how we want to keep it. He is abject in his apology and we are moving on.”
O’Grady was instantly criticized for using the expression “colored people” and went into damage-control mode, issuing a statement in which he said. “I deeply regret using an inappropriate word in a live interview for Sky Sports for which I unreservedly apologize.”
At this point, golf’s oops-fest week can’t end quickly enough for the Europeans. On Wednesday, Garcia had apologized for saying of his feud with Tiger Woods: “We will have him ’round every night [for dinner at the U.S. Open.] We will serve fried chicken.”
Woods had responded, in a series of tweets: “The comment that was made wasn’t silly. It was wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate. I’m confident that there is real regret that the remark was made. The Players [Championship, where this edition of their feud flared] ended nearly two weeks ago and it’s long past time to move on and talk about golf.”