News24

Knives out for 'racist' caddie

2011-11-06 15:19

Shanghai - Pressure was mounting on Sunday on the European Tour to investigate caddie Steve Williams after his racial insult aimed at golf legend Tiger Woods caused worldwide revulsion.

Williams sparked outrage when he called his former employer Woods a "black arsehole" after he collected an award during a caddies' gala dinner at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China on Friday evening.

Several leading players - including Williams's new Australian boss Adam Scott - dismissed his racial slur as nothing more than a misguided joke "that should never have left the room".

Williams posted an online statement on Saturday apologising to Woods and admitting his comments "could be construed as racist" after fellow caddies, fans and sponsors reacted with disgust to his remarks.

But the players' casual reaction and silence from the sport's leading officials has been seen as a closing of ranks, and anti-racist groups lined up to condemn the European and PGA tours for failing to censure Williams.

Sally Dhalu, secretary of the UK anti-racism group One Society, Many Cultures, said: "I don't think an apology is enough. The only way to root [racism] out and prevent other people from behaving in the same way is to take disciplinary action.

"An investigation should be conducted," she was quoted as saying by the UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper.

The European Tour has so far refused to comment on the scandal.

But HSBC bank, the main sponsor of Asia's flagship golfing tournament, has been keen to distance itself from the row, which has overshadowed the event in Shanghai.

"Any kind of racially motivated comment in this day and age is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated," HSBC group head of sponsorship Giles Morgan told AFP on Sunday.

"It is not up to us to take action [against Williams] and I understand European Tour officials will be making a statement later today. We are keen to get back to focusing on what is a great golfing tournament," he added.

New Zealander Williams was employed by Woods for 12 years, the pair winning 72 tournaments together with the caddy earning an estimated US$3 million, before their acrimonious split in the summer.

The 47-year-old caddy, who kept silent during Woods's sex scandal, is believed to have struggled to come to terms with his axing and issued a series of barbed comments before his racial slur.

Williams has previously courted controversy with his outspokenness and gruff personality, once calling Phil Mickelson a "right prick", insulting spectators and bullying the media.

He was again due on the first tee with world No 8 Scott on Sunday.

Many golf commentators have expressed surprise that Williams was still carrying the bag of Scott, a rising young star who is keen to foster a supporter-friendly image.

Some golf fans who spoke with AFP Saturday said Williams's apology was insufficient and further disciplinary action should be taken against him for bringing shame on the sport.

SAPA

Comments
  • goyougoodthing - 2011-11-06 15:47

    As I understand it, Tiger is both black and an ahole. Stating facts has nothing to do with race. He should have just called him an ahole.

      Hans - 2011-11-07 10:32

      It doesn't matter what we think of him. He does not deserve to be called that. Williams gained a very good reputation because of Tiger and now after 15 years of serving him, he calls Tiger that. If he has personal issues with Tiger, then why not settle that under closed doors?

      joneethling - 2011-11-07 21:23

      Tiger's own fault for hiring somebody who looks like a pink a-hole.

  • Winifred - 2011-11-06 16:10

    I agree why do people jump to conclusions. They are so quick to convict people. Obviously a lot of kindergarden kids. Like I said previously, one would think Tiger Woods is Jesus the way the world responds. Tiger may have been great at golf but he has yet to redeem himself in the eyes of the world. People have been very quick to forget about the respect they lost for him after his own demise now all is done and dusted they backing him again.....two faced thats all I can say. Its all about money, and thats the truth.

      goyougoodthing - 2011-11-06 16:13

      True. He can hit a ball. He's also good at hitting the sack. And it's fairly clear on TV that when things don't go his way he drops his lip like a child. Brat.

  • cosmos.ndebele - 2011-11-06 17:09

    There nothing called a racist joke instead a racist is racist!!! This guy could insult Tiger the way he wanted, but leave his race out of it. Being a black guy myself i cant imagine calling anybody a white arsh@@@@@@hle. Its sick. I bet this guy s next excuse will be to say 'i have a lot of black friends i even eat in their houses to prove i am not racist.

  • Kurt - 2011-11-06 18:43

    Why am I not surprised by the PGA and players response to this characters ranting, hey wait they're all white- heaven forbid they speak in defense of black man and not get anything out of it. No one speaking up against Steve Williams actually means they condone this kind of rubbish, what does this say about the principle and ethics of the sport at the professional level?

  • Jacquie - 2011-11-06 19:43

    When you look at what Tiger Woods has done for the golf world by being such a gifted golfer and when you look at the interest by the TV ratings he has brought to the sport by him being in these tournaments, when you look at the prize money that is being offered in these tournaments because of his presence, when you look at the millionares he has created in the golf world like other golfers winning large purses because of the interest he has generated,when you look at the fashion golfing industry and how it's thriving because of the interest that Tiger brings to the game, the golf club and golf ball manufacturers, the hotels , restaurants, cab companys, golf courses all over the world and many more spin offs that are too many to mention and then you have some two bit caddy like Steve Williams come out and degrade such a high profile golfer. If this was to happen to another high profile golfer like Jack Nicklaus the golfing world would be outraged just like they are with the Tiger incident and I will say that the golfing world will be heard and Steve Williams will not survive this incident.

      Arthur - 2011-11-06 20:45

      well said Jacquie...this caddie is a troublemaking a-hole himself...it's time that he was given an early retirement

  • John - 2011-11-06 20:59

    It is not racist, he was merely identifying who he was talking about. The word black is not racist. It is an official legal term in South Africa. Thula wena.

      Stand - 2011-11-07 08:04

      hey john U an ahole

  • Michael - 2011-11-06 22:52

    How sad it is that there are so many pathetic souls crawling the planet ever desperate to find amplification for their dishonest morality. A silly little man makes an even sillier comment about his ex-employer and the international PC Brigade leaps to a revolted critical mass. Did anyone stop to consider that Mr Woods may well be competent enough to defend his mutilated honour without the gratuitous intervention of the Kumbaya Club....what an assortment of pinheads!

  • rlmbennett - 2011-11-07 00:26

    Tiger Woods is an an a..hole period. Tiger Woods is black period. I am black period. What is the big deal, you over-sensitive lot?

  • Chris - 2011-11-07 07:28

    He should pack his bag and return to the oblivion of his Home Land , No space for siuch peole or comments in to days civil society .

      Bob - 2011-11-07 07:57

      Todays civil society ? U kidding me, which planet do you live on, the human race in general are far from civil, I think we have much more important things to worry about than some guy expressing his obvious dislike for a former employer, this whole racist thing is out of hand, it's becoming a crime to be white.

  • Alihusein - 2011-11-07 08:02

    You should never be allowed to carry a a golf bag for the rest of your life you are a racist and a bad one. You have a big mouth because Tiger made you rich and mind you just for carrying his bag you did'nt win those 14 titles you cant even hit a damn ball.

      Bob - 2011-11-07 10:18

      Bit harsh don't you think, geez you guys have such a chip on your shoulder, Woods sacking of Williams was disgusting, obviously Mr Williams is still hurting, golfers need caddies, you can't measure how Williams experience assisted woods in winning as many titles as he did.

  • David - 2011-11-07 09:20

    Tiger Woods is an ahole and the way he treated Steve Williams was disgusting and it would be for the better if he (Tiger) left golf to the decent people that do not behave in a disgusting manner behind the scenes Kids looked up to him as golfer and then he does what he did to his wife and kids He should not be allowed back to golf Well done Steve Williams and you will do well for Scot

  • Alan - 2011-11-07 10:01

    The only A-Hole is Williams himself !!

  • mengelbrecht1 - 2011-11-07 10:37

    Seems like Steve wiiliams is after as many Ex-Caddie titles he can get!!

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