The one without the clue is on the right.
What is it about Duke? Okay, maybe that’s not fair. But it did make me scratch my head and wonder when I read what Kelly Tilghman, a former Blue Devil golfer, said on the Golf Channel last Friday during her gig as co-lead announcer for the network’s telecast of the Mercedes-Benz Championship, the PGA Tour’s inaugural event of the season.
It’s been widely reported that this is how it went down: As Kelly and her on-air partner Nick Faldo they wrapped up the telecast at the Plantation Course at Kapalua, they engaged in a discussion about young players who possibly could challenge Tiger. Faldo jokingly said perhaps those players should “gang up [on Woods] for a while.” They chuckled then Tilghman (and this is why comedy should be left to the professionals) added, “Lynch him in a back alley.”
The announcers chuckled awkwardly before moving on.
Watch the video:
Had Woods been white, to use one of the most heinous crimes committed in this nation to illustrate God-knows that point would have been egregious. But that he’s not makes the remark unconscionable. And punishable.
It would be a travesty if Tilghman is allowed to broadcast the next event for the Golf Channel. (It speaks volumes already that she was allowed to sit on the air all day Saturday, as if nothing happened. She then offered an on-air apology on Sunday but still did the entire telecast.)
At minimum, a suspension is in order. Some will surely call for a firing. If the network does nothing – just months after the Jena 6 dominated the nation’s airwaves – it would make a significant statement about the network’s tolerance of such actions. A statement that would hurt the sport of golf and rekindle memories of a racist history that Woods’ success has helped diminish.
Doing nothing would remind us of Fuzzy Zoeller.
Doing nothing would remind us of Shoal Creek.
Doing nothing would not be smart.
Okay, so it’s just the Golf Channel. And Kelly Tilghman is simply a hottie that was given an opportunity to anchor a telecast because can swing a golf club.
That is not the point. Tolerance of this sort of talk, at any level in our industry, simply cannot be tolerated.
Your move, GC.
Tilghman says she’s reached out to Woods to apologize. (Interestingly, they are friends.) Here’s hoping, at least for the moment – until the Golf Channel makes its statement – that he does not accept the call. Or the apology.
Tiger’s representative, Mark Steinberg says the matter is a “non-issue” with the golfer: “Tiger and Kelly are friends and Tiger has a great deal of respect for Kelly,” he said. “Regardless of the choice of words used we know unequivocally that there was no ill-intent in her comments. This story is a non-issue in our eyes.”