As the Senior Editor of the African American Golfers Digest and as an African American male in the United States of America I am appalled and extremely offended by the recent remarks made by professional golfer Sergio Garcia. Garcia made these remarks in response to a question posed to him concerning Tiger Woods and their much publicized verbal battle in the media after the 2013 Players Championship.
His comments were not only inappropriate, and hurtful they were racist and insensitive. In this day and age comments of this nature have no place in society and certainly not in the game of golf. Sergio’s remarks are reminiscent of similar remarks made by professional golfer Fuzzy Zoeller after Tiger’s win at the 1997 Masters Tournament. Moeller’s remarks were wrong and hurtful then and sixteen years later the racial tone associated to Sergio Garcia’s remarks are just as inappropriate. Comments of this nature dredge up thoughts of a sad and disgraceful period in this country’s history not only to African American’s but to people of all races and walks of life.
I am sure that Sergio Garcia and his team will draft a response to his actions and work diligently to address this issue in a timely manner. However, Garcia will not a get a pass from me. Regardless of how off the cuff or stupid his comments were they point to his mindset and to a racist belief system that he possesses. It is clear that Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia have always had a tenuous relationship at best both on and off the golf course, but the comments uttered by Sergio Garcia clearly cross the line of basic decorum and decency.
I call on Sergio Garcia and his sponsors to take immediate and appropriate action to rectify his actions. A failure to issue a sincere and meaningful apology will only cause this regretful situation to get worse. The fact that Sergio Garcia isn’t willing to admit to the racist overtones of his comments only goes to show his lack of concern and sensitivity about the struggles, challenges and painful history of the African American experience.
Sergio Garcia’s press conference this morning did very little to change my mind or my views on this sad and unfortunate situation. I urge both Taylormade Golf, Adidas Golf and Sergio Garcia’s other sponsors to address this issue immediately and make sure that the players who represent their brands don’t possess such racist and insensitive mindsets and attitudes.