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Wednesday, January 09, 2008
 
"Lynching Tiger Woods"

The issue of race and sports law was a hot topic in 2007 and continues to be in 2008. At the beginning of each new year, along with personal resolutions, I optimistically hope beyond hope that our nation, the United States of America, can take transcendent steps toward alleviating our festering race problem. I always hope that the fields of sports and entertainment might lead the way. Individuals of all different races and stripes join together as teammates to work for common causes on high school, collegiate and professional sports teams.

Unfortunately, barely hours into 2008 we were hit with what can only be described as a breathtaking breach in the world of sports and race equality. A few days ago, while broadcasting a PGA tour event, Kelly Tilghman, the Golf Channel’s main play-by-play anchor commented nonchalantly to co-anchor Nick Faldo when discussing Tiger Woods’ dominance on the Professional Golf Tour that his competitors should “lynch Tiger Woods in a back alley.” Tilghman stated on live television that today’s young players should “lynch Tiger Woods.”!?!


Seriously? In 2007, with nooses making despicable appearances in Jena, Louisiana and at Columbia University; In 2007 where a young black woman, Megan Williams was kidnapped, tortured, sexually assaulted with cords and ropes draped around her neck in southern West Virginia*; In 2008 with the State of New Jersey offering a formal apology for its connections to slavery; In 2008, against the backdrop of a not-to-distant-past national crime against African American citizens in the form of the illegal and reprehensible practice of lynching (as chronicled recently on CNN) – We are presented with a 2008 sports anchor casually dropping the phrase “lynch Tiger Woods in a back alley.” Seriously?

Of course, Tilghman and the Golf Channel have rushed forward with the requisite apologies and have reached out to Woods personally to apologize to him directly. And, as per the usual, the formal Tilghman apology asks forgiveness from those viewers that “may have been offended by my comments.” This "may have been offended" language suggests that Tilghman does not appreciate nor recognize the depth and reprehensibility of her comments. She seems to say: these comments were certainly not meant to be racist and terribly objectionable and if one happens to be an individual that is easily offended, well then my intent was not to offend.

Woods, famous for his multi-culturalism, with an African American father and Thai mother, is one of the most prominent athletes on the planet. As a black man, in a supremely dominant professional position, he is apparently not immune to the racist specter of lynching. In my mind, this is an unforgivable offense by Tilghman -- at least as egregious (if not more so) as Don Imus and his racist reference to the Rutgers female basketball team members as “nappy headed ho’s.”

Perhaps most offensive to some is the Golf Channel’s tepid apology and apparent continued support of Tilghman as its anchor. Certainly Tilghman’s employment contract with the Golf Channel contains a provision that constitutes breach if inflammatory or racist views are espoused over the airwaves. If so, the question remains: what is the Golf Channel waiting on? Imus was shown the door.

Simply stated, any reference in this country to the lynching of a black athlete cannot be excused away. Ever. And certainly not in 2008.


A few questions: Will Tiger Woods respond? The Sports Law Blog contemplated this last year. Will the U.S. public care? The Sports Law Blog contemplated this a few days ago in the context of Roger Clemens and the assassination of Bhutto.


* Megan Williams is a 20 year old African American woman from Charleston, WV. She went missing and for six nightmarish days was held hostage in a mobile home and tortured by six white perpetrators, four men and two women, in Big Creek, WV. Her story became national news. An anonymous tip led Logan County Sheriff’s deputies to the property where her ordeal ended as she was able to limp to safety, arms outstretched as she cried “Help me!” Williams was tortured for days, sexually assaulted, beaten and forced to eat animal feces. Her captors choked her with a cable cord and stabbed her in the leg while calling her racial slurs, pouring hot water over her and making her drink from a toilet.





37 Comments:

Is it just the use of the word "lynch" that is the problem here? Or is it something more?

It appears Tilghman was trying to be funny by suggesting that killing Tiger was the only way the other players could stop him from dominating the tour. And she used a very wrong word. Suppose she had said the others should "have Woods whacked" or "should take Woods out"? Do we have the same problem? No racially charged word, but the implication (given the make-up of the PGA Tour) would be of white-on-black violence, a similarly historical problem in the U.S.

And if that is a problem, what if we get the racial overtones in reverse? Suppose an announcer says "the only way the other NBA players can stop Larry Bird (an admittedly old example) from dominating the game is to cap him"?

I think this is different from Imus. Imus was intentionally making fun of the players and he did it in racial terms. Tilghman was trying to make a point in graphic terms and seemed to get away from herself. She also seemed to use the word almost ignorant of its broader meaning. Note the bad mixed metaphor of "lynch in a back alley." with its image of an urban attack, when the predominant image of lynchings is attacks not in a back alley, but in an empty field in Mississippi.

Please note that I am *NOT* defending what Tilghman said and her apology was, as always, ridiculously bad. I am trying to understand how we respond to this and to other examples of similar problems.

Blogger Howard Wasserman -- 1/09/2008 8:33 AM  


Use the word "whack" and the Italian-American community will be up in arms.

Personally, I have a dream that one day we will rise up and remember when the First Amendment meant something...

Anonymous Anonymous -- 1/09/2008 8:51 AM  


It is amazing that such a comment is made in 2008. However, when I think about it, it is really not surprising. These kinds of comments are made by white people constantly because deep down they don't think that there is anything wrong with them. The fact that any radio station has Don Imus back on the air after his comments proves this out.

Blogger Legalsavant -- 1/09/2008 9:09 AM  


Anonymous poster...are you asserting that the First Amendment should allow individuals to make these types of comments? Actually, it does, to an extent...I seem to remember various cases in which the Ku Klux Klan demonstrations were protected by the Amendment; also anti-Jewish demonstrations near Chicago were protected by that amendment.
National television, however, presents a different story.
And to use the First Amendment in a conversation about racism misses the boat, by a lot. Regardless the strength of First Amendment protection, as a matter of human dignity--to invoke Justice Brennan--racial slurs should not be uttered on national television.

As to the main point, it is sad that this still occurs. It also is currently occuring in the field of politics. The fundamental Christian groups have advocated against Barack Obama because he was once a Muslim (and, therefore, he is a terrorist) and because he attends an all-African-American church.

In sports, in entertainment, and in politics, we have learned that despite efforts to the contrary, racism still exists in America.

Anonymous Travis -- 1/09/2008 9:43 AM  


From ESPN - "Asked for a reaction, Woods' agent Mark Steinberg said: "This story is a non-issue. Tiger and Kelly are friends and Tiger has a great deal of respect for Kelly. 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. Case closed.""

I find this statement by Wood' agent a bit surprising. Non-issue it may be personally between Tiger and Tilghman, but shouldn't his agent acknowledge that there are other people out there who are, rightfully, outraged by the statement?

Perhaps we don't want to cast Tiger as some kind of racial spokesperson, but does he, or his representatives, have any kind of obligation to decry this kind of statement? I'm not sure of the answer, but I think there's at least some responsibility there...

Blogger Satchmo -- 1/09/2008 9:53 AM  


1. You can't seriously believe that this is a fireable offense. Imus had 30 years of race-baiting leading up to his firing, his final comment was the proverbial last straw.

Was it a stupid thing to say? Absolutely. Should the producer have told her about it immediately, and should she have addressed it immediately? Absolutely. But to lose your job? C'mon.

2. It's pretty clear that Tiger Woods has no interest in being a racial spokesperson. He kind of takes the MJ tack, to paraphrase I guess Tiger believes that conservatives buy golf clubs too. But I think in this case his statement says it all. He believes this to be a non-issue.

3. To anonymous, how exactly does the first amendment apply in this case?

Anonymous HARRY -- 1/09/2008 11:13 AM  


Satchmo:

Certainly no obligation if Woods did not actually find the comment offensive or racist. To suggest otherwise would mean that every member of a particular group must speak out against comments/actions that other members of that group find offensive to the group, even if the one "obligated" to speak does not believe those statements were racist.

More broadly, this is at the core of the concept of hate speech. At the most basic level, we can say Tilghman insulted Woods based on a characteristic Woods has. Did she necessarily also insult every single person who shares that characteristic?

Blogger Howard Wasserman -- 1/09/2008 12:01 PM  


This will be a non-issue because Woods will make it a non-issue. He enjoys staying in the background on important racial or political issues. He doesn't want to be the torch bearer that many want him to be. He just does his own thing and destroys people on the golf course. I would like to see him come to the forefront, but it will not happen.

This is worse than Imus in my opinion. I agree Imus had a longer history against him but based solely on the comment (which it should be) there is more than enough history that follows "lynching" compared to "nappy headed hoes." Of course, all of this means nothing since Woods will ignore it.

Blogger Shawn -- 1/09/2008 3:35 PM  


OK, I expect confusion about the applicability of the First Amendment on non-legal blogs but its always surprising on legal blogs. Anyway, Tilghman deserves at least an unpaid suspension but I would support firing. Re Don Imus in this connection; no - I do not believe she should be afforded umpteen chances and neither should Imus have but hey that's what the dominant American culture wants. One thing I hope we can all agree on is that she should not be subjected to the Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton sensitivity training tour - nor should anyone, except perhaps themselves!

Now regarding what's ok or not, a very slippery slope. I don't want to invoke Potter Stewart "know it when I see it" test but I think part of the problem here is that white Americans have no equivalent taunt words applied to them as a group that would help focus this issue for them. Redneck, cracker, honky, whitey... I'm sure there are others but I don't think any of them bear the weight of the "n" word, lynching and any number of other taunt words routinely and openly applied to black Americans until at least the 60's. My observation is that the only term that really riles white Americans is if you personally call them racist. Really ironic (at least to me) in view of American history.

So are most blacks hyper-sensitive or is it that most whites are hyper-insensitive?? I don't think we need a Gallup poll to guess the split on that one. Anyway, I think this comment by Tilghman was way over the line. To me its akin to saying lets have Amy Alcott or Corey Pavin gassed or saying that Isao Aoki should be Jap-slapped or perhaps nuked. All in good fun??? No harm intended?? I think not.

-bgw

Anonymous Anonymous -- 1/09/2008 3:50 PM  


Oops! Meant to write "No harm, no foul" at the end rather than "No harm intended".

Anonymous Anonymous -- 1/09/2008 5:20 PM  


I love how these US blogs can't see past their own borders. If anyone had been bothered to read the Australian or Indian news this week you would see a larger racial issue involving intervention of the world governing body for cricket, the replacement of match officials for the next Australia v India Test match (at the insistence of the Indian Cricket team mind you) and a hastily convened appellate process to deal with an accusaion of racial vilification on the field of play. Last I saw, Indian nationals were burning effigies of Australian cricketers and neutral umpires in the streets of a few Indian cities.

Maybe that might be of a bit greater than someone saying something stupid on the golf channel.

Sure, the commentator said something dumb. Sure, Tiger Woods could well be offended by it. But wake up the the wider world around you would you please.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 1/09/2008 6:22 PM  


Oh how smug some in the rest of the world think they are when it comes to the US. Well I for one am well aware of the racial controversy that occurred in international cricket this week. And I don't see any difference between the two incidents at all other than US society getting to a point, thankfully, where we don't feel we have to take to the streets with violence over racial insults. I happen to be black American and I think the slur that allegedly happened in the cricket match was despicable. But it is not a reason or an excuse for the violence and hatred that apparently is being displayed in the streets in India. Nor is there anything about the cricket controversy that proves in any way that the lynching comment made by the golfing commentator should not be subject of discussion in America. I think YOU need to wake up and realize that not everything America does is fair game for strident smug self-righteous criticism.

-bgw

Blogger bgw -- 1/09/2008 6:53 PM  


For those who happen to be unaware, the cricket controversy involves the allegation of an Indian player referring to the only non-white player on Australia's team as a "monkey" during a match. The Indian player was suspended for three Tests and the Indian team appealed and also counter complained that a different Australian player racially insulted an Indian player. The latter claim and the appeal are still in process.

The fact that violent demonstrations have apparently occurred in India (mainly it seems over a feeling that the proceedings have been unfair rather than on any overtly racial basis in my view) does not in any way indicate that Tilghman's comment was insignificant or that discussing it is stupid. On the contrary, it illustrates the passions that racially charged comments can ignite even indirectly. Its definitely better to openly discuss and even vigorously disagree about such statements or whether or not discipline is merited than it is to either pretend they don't matter or to tell people that their concerns about such statements are stupid.

-bgw

Blogger bgw -- 1/09/2008 7:26 PM  


To bgw:

I'm very offended when people assume that I am racist because I'm white. Look up the definition of the word racism- in short, it is, "the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race." (Sounds like the belief of an author of a blog I just read) Judging someone based on race is a sign of true ignorance. When you're done trying to justify why black people can be racist and white people can't, why don't you look up the word "hypocrite."

Anonymous Anonymous -- 1/09/2008 7:48 PM  


The use of "lynch" was simply ignorant; ignorance of the racially charged nature of the word and the connotations attached.

This is not about 1st Amendment rights, those only apply to the Govt., not a private enterprise like the Golf Channel.

The problem is that only blacks really know how deep that comment cuts, non-blacks can only pretend to know. And when you have pretenders trying to analyze, the understanding can only go so far.

I feel this way because I am a minority and have been subjected to racially insensitive remarks by those in the majority. When it goes the other way, upstream shall we say, its simply not the same.

I believe there is always a sense of empowerment, however slight, when you are in the majority and even if someone tries to draw that distinction out, "honkey, etc.", it does not resonate the same as when a minority is singled out.

That being said, as a 44 yr old with two young boys, I've come to the point of stressing to my boys to ignore, there is nothing more powerful than ignoring ignorant comments. Actively fighting back just brings legitimacy to the comments.

In the long run, the best we can do is let others know that these types of comments are not acceptable and subject them to ridicule and move on.

Blogger qtlaw24 -- 1/09/2008 8:15 PM  


Wow. I don't know if you are just overly sensitive or just don't read carefully. None of my posts have called you, any white person, or any other person racist. I did make a point in regard to the issue of what type of slur or racial comment is over the line (or not) that there is no pejorative term equivalent to the n-word or similar to "lynching" that gets applied to white American's to illustrate the sensitivity of these words to blacks except to call a white person "racist". I do think it is true that white people are sensitive to being called a racist but I clearly did not call white people racist and did not advocate that anyone do so. Even though you mis-understood the point I'm making, you seem to have confirmed it as far as the sensitivity of the term racist goes.

Now if you can have such a reaction to the term racist when someone is trying to explain that there are no racial slurs applied to whites that carry the same sting as the n-word, lynching, and quite a large number of other terms I could cite, try to understand then why its hard for black Americans to be blase about casual references to such terms as lynching when discussing a black person. I am not saying Tilghman is racist but that her use of this terms is too insensitive to be accepted without objection nor, in my view, without sanction.

In regards to hypocrisy, what a laugh. My point was clearly that racial terms and pejoratives of any kind are over the line and should not be acceptable.

-bgw

Blogger bgw -- 1/09/2008 9:08 PM  


I think most people think of Tiger Woods as I do. Not an African American, not and Asian, but as the worlds greatest golfer perhaps even the best athlete of all time. This comment was clearly not said in a racial context, but rather in regards to someone who is almost unbeatable in the hardest game ever. Liberal media give it a rest. It's not always about race!

Anonymous chiefy -- 1/09/2008 9:16 PM  


Howard Wasserman asked an interesting question when he said in reference to Tilghman's comment:

"... And if that is a problem, what if we get the racial overtones in reverse? Suppose an announcer says "the only way the other NBA players can stop Larry Bird (an admittedly old example) from dominating the game is to cap him"?"

My response is that it is a problem if the racial overtone is in reverse if it is pejorative. However Wasserman's example did not have a racial nor a pejorative overtone. Nothing in that example racially identifies, sterotypes or slurs Mr. Bird. Which is why the initial comment attributed to Nick Faldo does not raise an issue i.e. "that other young golfers should gang up on Tiger Woods". Nothing racial or pejorative there.

But the Larry Bird example would have racial and pejorative overtones if the announcer were to say something like ... "the only way the other NBA players can stop Larry Bird from dominating the game is to steal his Klan robe". Clearly, in my view, such an announcer should be fired, or at least suspended. Why should a pejorative racial slur against whites be tolerated?

Again, I don't know exactly where the line is or should be but Tilghman crossed it.

Blogger bgw -- 1/09/2008 10:03 PM  


To anonymous (non-US) poster...I apologize in advance for any apparent condecension. It is true that an average American is insensitive and not knowledgeable about matters not concerning the United States directly. However, if you have paid as much attention to American history as you claim we should have, you would realize that the development of America has been one marked by isolationism and individualism (as de Tocqueville predicted long ago). Thus, it should not be surprising to you. You may however, be pleased to realize that some of us, including myself, have heard of the "Australian-Indian Cricket Conflict." Certainly, racism (which is a uniquely American concept as used today) exists worldwide. Minority ethnic groups are persecuted everywhere. Even majority ethnic groups are persecuted in some places. Those with different colored skin or different creeds are largely unaccepted in the world populous, and there are some countries which are more sensitive to these problems than others. As bgw has pointed out, however, America has progressed to a point where street violence is no longer resorted to. And that is certainly positive--and it is very different from what occurs in other parts of the world--i.e. Rwanda, India, Israel/Palestine, and many other regions of the world.
I must say to you, however, that this particular blog was directed at an American instance of racism looking for a solution to this problem here. That this blog has been limited in such a way does not mean that those subscribing to it do not know that the problem exists worldwide.

Now, I would also like to address bgw's statement that white America is particularly sensitive to being called "racist." As a white American, I agree. Personally, I was recently called a racist by another white American because I told him America will not be free from racism until we can get past statements like "That's an impressive accomplishment by that individual, especially because that individual was (insert race or ethnicity here)." I was deeply offended, not only because the term racist is disdainful but also because he proved my point by singularly making my comment an issue of such proportions. So, while I agree, I would add that I think it is a positive that many white Americans would feel such pain from being labeled racist. It shows that white America (with exceptions) has become much more sensitive to issues of race than it has in the past. And while I still recognize the continuing issues of race in our country, I am proud to say that the issues are being addressed more candidly and more openly.

Anonymous Travis -- 1/09/2008 11:14 PM  


I'm with Chiefy (1/9/08) and others with similar views on this issue. Tiger and Kelley are friends, Kelly screwed up on the choice of words, and she has apologized. I think Tiger should do more in Kelly's defense than respond through a spokesperson.

Anonymous stanleyp -- 1/09/2008 11:25 PM  


Give me a break. Al Sharpton loves to stir things up. Didn't he just the other day slip and say something against Mormons? Um yea...I think so. Not wise for Kelly to use the terms but give me a break. There have been lots of people lynched besides black people.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 1/10/2008 12:57 AM  


Re: (I'm very offended when people assume that I am racist because I'm white. Look up the definition of the word racism- in short, it is, "the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race." (Sounds like the belief of an author of a blog I just read) Judging someone based on race is a sign of true ignorance. When you're done trying to justify why black people can be racist and white people can't, why don't you look up the word "hypocrite.”)Anonymous -- 1/09/2008 7:48 PM

The author of this blog is a highly regarded professor in his field, and although he is discussing the persistent ignorance and racism that exists in American society today he is a white man. professor cummings has been able to see past his race and look at the big picture for what it is. so few of us can look past our personal identity to honestly look at race issues as they exist today (and they do exist). This is not merely an issue of poor word choice, but a white person choosing to use a word which for many in this country invokes the image of black bodies swinging from trees, sometimes mutilated and burned.

The cavalier manner in which the word lynch was tossed around and the personal ignorance of the individual who used it does not matter. What matters is that people feel absolutely comfortable saying inappropriate things until they are called on it. While I do not expect Tiger Woods to be personally offended (he has spent his career trying to remain racially neutral), the fact remains that people affiliated with the PGA have viewed him as a black man and have made other inappropriate comments connected to this perception of him as such (I seem to remember some comment about fried chicken and collard greens years ago). The lynching of black men, women, and children was often in response to not an actual crime or any valid wrong doing, but to some white persons opinion they needed to get them out of the way, or put others in their place. How is that different from the use of the word in this instance?

This is not about putting groups against one another, but acknowledging that discrimination and yes racism exists within the PGA as an institution. I commend professor cummings for have the courage and the ability to speak out against distressing instances such as this. To look the other way and pretend like this is not a big deal is precisely the reason why these issues continue to exist. Ignoring this incident and focusing on unrest in India or any other place would be irresponsible. While Americans do need to be more aware of global issues we should not do so at the expense of our own. There needs to be some balance between global outreach and national concern.

Blogger Anoa -- 1/10/2008 8:32 AM  


None of this matters. If sponsors pull or threaten to pull their advertisements, she will be gone. The dollar is not a racist, it is a realist. Sometimes the dollar employs racism. It certainly sells newspapers and fills blogs!

Anonymous Anonymous -- 1/10/2008 9:56 AM  


So sad. First off look up lynching. Definition doesn't speak of race. The Wild West had many a lynchings and they were not racially motivated.

Secondly, so many kids today wouldn't even think of that kind of violence against another race. Yet we remind them and even carve out our own little definitions to meet the crime.

Kelly meant kill him. Funny? I don't know. But racial? Not a chance.

Anonymous bmac -- 1/10/2008 10:41 AM  


Bmac - while I agree that the formal definition of lynching doesn't consider race, you can't deny that it's a racially-charged word.

And people should be aware of the context of the word - do you really want kids to be ignorant of the history behind the word and why it's such a charged word? It's entirely possible that Tilghman is ignorant and might not have let the word slip if she knew the offense it might cause (if not to Woods, then to others).

Maybe if more people were knowledgeable (read some of Ida B. Wells-Barnett's work, maybe) and understood the context of the word, it wouldn't be used so flippantly.

This comment comes off patronizing, I realize, but I just think decontextualizing words and ignoring their historical significance is dangerous and leads to the kind of usage like we saw Tilghman engage in.

Blogger Satchmo -- 1/10/2008 10:49 AM  


Anonymous said ..... "The Wild West had many a lynchings and they were not racially motivated."

Not true. Lynching victims in the "Wild West" were primarily Black, Mexican, Chinese, and Native American. Here is a synopsis of what research has found. Between 1848 and 1928 alone, researchers have found that 597 Mexicans were lynched. As to White victims, there is good documentation of around 20 Italian Americans being lynched between 1890 and 1900. (11 were lynched in one single incident in New Orleans in 1891.) It appears the number of Jewish persons lynched was under 10. It appears that less than 100 (most likely between 50 or 60) persons of European origin have been lynched.

Overall between the 1840's and 1951, around 3500 Blacks, 600 to 700 Mexicans, 300 - 400 Native Americans and 200 - 300 Chinese and East Indians were lynched. So if does not appear that more than 50 or 60 persons of European origin were lynched.

In total, somewhere around 5,700 persons have been lynched since the 1840's. In contrast, legal executions since 1608 have numbered approximately 16,000. So almost a third as many persons were lynched in 250 fewer years.

-bgw

Blogger bgw -- 1/10/2008 1:45 PM  


i took the comment as a joke, anyone can see that, I really think the good Rev Al Shapton is not should spend more time in the church than trying to make headlines.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 1/10/2008 2:43 PM  


PEOPLE , LET STOP, ....GOD!!!!

Anonymous Anonymous -- 1/10/2008 2:45 PM  


Anonymous said... (1) i took the comment as a joke, anyone can see that, I really think the good Rev Al Shapton is not should spend more time in the church than trying to make headlines.

and (2) PEOPLE , LET STOP, ...GOD!!!!

What is the harm in trying to explain and examine the differing conclusions/opinions on this matter in a civilized manner? No one has been attacked anyone for feeling that the comment was only a joke or that its being taken too seriously by some. We'd simply like to better understand the reasons or feelings behind the differing opinions. Re Sharpton, no one on this blog has supported his involvement or his approach to this matter. I indicated my displeasure at his possible involvement in an earlier post. And my reason for that is simply that Sharpton and his ilk choke off conversation and communication among Americans about topics on which we need more understanding and exchange of perspectives not less. The goal, in my view, is not necessarily to reach instant consensus but rather to try to at least better understand the differing views.

-bgw

Blogger bgw -- 1/12/2008 3:18 PM  


OK, now I have a fill in the blank for all of you to answer, even "bgw" and the ones who run this blog site:

How would YOU have filled in the blank in the following sentence, in Ms. Tilghman's position :

"The only way to stop Tiger Woods from dominating is _________________."
[fill in the blank]

No copping-out, no "I wouldn't have said that", etc. . . . what is YOUR answer?

Mine would have been: "The only way to stop Tiger Woods from dominating is to make Tiger play with only ONE club."

Also, what was REALLY worse: Tilghman's on-air comment or GolfWeek's cover of a noose? (The noose by far!)

Anonymous Anonymous -- 1/18/2008 4:51 AM  


Anonymous said..... How would YOU have filled in the blank in the following sentence, in Ms. Tilghman's position :

"The only way to stop Tiger Woods from dominating is _______________."
[fill in the blank]

The only issue to me is how she could have been funny, incisive, opinionated or whatever without being racially insulting. So what her broadcast partner said was ok to me, i.e. "gang up on him". The other prior suggestions of "whacking him" or "taking him out" do not to me seem to raise this issue despite the violent imagery. My opinion is that there is a large universe of things she could have said and a small range of things to avoid.

If "whacking" or "capping" raises an ethnic or racial issue to Italian-Americans, I would welcome being informed on why that is so. I don't have HBO and have never seen Sopranos but I do know that many Italian-Americans find the portrayals to be negatively sterotyped. I percieve their issue to be that the show implies that Italians are criminals, violent, immoral, etc. (fyi - I have protested rap lyrics for 20+ years.) But I'm not aware if the terms "whack" or "cap" are percieved to be negative references specifically to Italian-Americans. So let me know.

But I believe Anonymous' position to be that there is no way to draw any line and so society needs to lighten up and take all comments in stride. If I have correctly captured this position, I'd like to see opinions on why this should be so and how this would/could prove to be a good thing for society.

-bgw

Blogger bgw -- 1/18/2008 1:56 PM  


Anonymous said... Also, what was REALLY worse: Tilghman's on-air comment or GolfWeek's cover of a noose? (The noose by far!)

Re the Golf magazine "noose" cover, I was not aware of it. My gut reaction is that here I do understand what they are trying to do i.e. get across the point of how sensitive this issue is for some people. However, I believe such efforts needlessly inflame the issue. Its sort of how I, as a black American, view tactics such as Al Sharpton's. In my view it is not useful to use insults, accusations, hostility, etc. to illustrate why something has offended. Rather we need two way communications about each side's views, not images or words that inhibit communication.

I don't think the noose on the cover changes anyone's mind who feels the Tilghman's comment was OK or that it did not justify punishment from her employer. Nor the opinions of those with the opposite view. Some people were already trying to discuss the comment civilly. I think the only thing it might do is increase is un-civil discourse.

-bgw

Blogger bgw -- 1/18/2008 2:06 PM  


I don't know about this lynching stuff, but I do know Tiger is afraid to play Westchester Country Club. The few articles that I have read last week about the PGA moving the 1st leg of the FedEx cup reeks of Tiger's doing. One article says he has only played their 3 times in 10 years and did not play their when Buick (His biggest sponsor) was the sponsor of the tournament. It is without question that Tiger had the tournament moved because he does not play well at this course. How weak can you get Tiger? Using your clout to stack the deck is a sign of a cry baby. Boo hoo hoo...

Blogger Sammy -- 1/21/2008 10:08 AM  


well i just right now saw in the news a press conference where Tiger himself said "hey we all say things we regret. I've known (tilghman) for what 10-11 years now, I know she didn't mean what she said, so we all just need to move on." He accepted her apology, this is coming from the person in question, the one that should be most offended of anyone. There's a lot of people in America that are so called "activists" and just make a career out of, seeking out and leeching on to these such controversies, to I don't know, boost their own egos and publicity. I think they are the problem in these things, when the victim of an incident can let it go and forgive and they can't shut up about it?

OpenID wigsharkin -- 1/22/2008 6:02 AM  


Tiger Woods & The Lynching Noose

What an ugly uproar about the noose around Tiger’s neck,
Growing tighter every single day because he chooses to forget,
A story over 2000 years old about a man and the world He forgave,
Whether you believe it or not it’s only by His blood are we saved.

Am I trying to compare Tiger to Jesus? That would be absurd,
Why is everyone so upset by the saying of the lynching word?
Then again, maybe it is not the word rather it’s the entire phrase,
The only way to keep it going is by talking about it day after day.

Exactly what in the world makes this particular Tiger so great?
The racism he has encountered filling his heart and mind with hate?
That would be impossible growing up with Jack Nickalus on his wall,
Certainly not the way he so gently strokes a short putt on the golf ball.

No, this animal is ferocious because he knows exactly when to attack,
The perfect time to strike and the proper time to relax and hold back,
Worlds number 1, again and again the undisputed player of the year,
What makes this Tiger rise above everyone else is that he has no fear.

Eagles that fly high above don’t spend time on the ground with birds,
So, why should he come down to earth and defend himself over words?
Sure, it was an unfortunate mistake but since Eldrick wants to move on,
Who has the right to make less than five seconds last so very long?

If Woods was the kind of person to hold a grudge and harbor pain,
The golfing world or anyone for that matter would not know his name,
Many a promising career has been stifled looking for others to blame,
Here’s another thought, what if Jesus spoke and a thousand angles came?

Slavery is supposedly over but in most minds it can’t be that easy to mend,
For everything that has a beginning there is a middle followed by the end,
OK, Kelly Tilghman said it, she apologized, and this incident is over when?
The precise moment Tiger accepted her responsibility saying, “She’s a friend,”

Spousal & child abuse, drunk drivers, sexual slavery, genocide in Kenya is unjust,
The war Americans should not be in, drug addiction, gas prices, much to discuss,
Unscrupulous politicians and others leaders behind closed doors we cannot trust,
General Motors and Ford selling cars that after three years on the road start to rust.

It’s not the first incident between this black vs. white and certainly not the last,
However, no person or race will experience forward progress living in the past,
Yes, it’s true that when you do not know history, greater the chance for a repeat,
But, when harboring malice in your hear revenge becomes bitter not sweet.

A family man now with a lot more on his mind like a wife and baby girl,
If the child had been born a boy there’s no doubt his name would be Earl,
There are many other concerns, how about the failure of public education?
Especially in inner city neighborhoods, what about that racial intimidation?

A tiger in the woods smells blood and begins searching for his prey,
A Tiger named Woods senses blood and knows victory is a bird away,
A tiger in the woods encircles his domain knowing the his meal isn’t far,
A Tiger named Woods knows the fight is over cause he’s 20 under par.

A tiger in the woods needs to catch and eat per day 40lbs. of raw meat,
A Tiger named Woods gets full consuming an eagle or two for his treat,
What do these two animals have in common besides the Tiger name?
How about both of them priestly sit atop of their individual food chain.

A tiger on the loose in San Francisco killed one with two on the way,
A Tiger at the Buick Open will maul an entire field in the game he plays,
I wonder what’s the difference between these two, an animal and the man?
Well, one likes to romp in the jungle while the other likes to play in sand.

Apparently, not many people know the history of the famous Tiger Woods,
Question? Just how many golf courses did he practice on deep in the hood?
Wait just one minute because it’s time to mention one very important thing,
Did we or did we not just celebrate a holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King?

How do you think the greatest African American Hero might respond to this?
Eloquent words of wisdom or by returning hatred with the raising of his fist?
The bad news is that it’s 2008 and sadly racial indifferences will never change,
Good news is neither will the exceptional talent by which Tiger plays the game.

By Luke Easter

OpenID lyricsfromlucas -- 1/26/2008 2:50 PM  


Tiger Woods & The Lynching Noose

What an ugly uproar about the noose around Tiger’s neck,
Growing tighter every single day because he chooses to forget,
A story over 2000 years old about a man and the world He forgave,
Whether you believe it or not it’s only by His blood are we saved.

Am I trying to compare Tiger to Jesus? That would be absurd,
Why is everyone so upset by the saying of the lynching word?
Then again, maybe it is not the word rather it’s the entire phrase,
The only way to keep it going is by talking about it day after day.

Exactly what in the world makes this particular Tiger so great?
The racism he has encountered filling his heart and mind with hate?
That would be impossible growing up with Jack Nickalus on his wall,
Certainly not the way he so gently strokes a short putt on the golf ball.

No, this animal is ferocious because he knows exactly when to attack,
The perfect time to strike and the proper time to relax and hold back,
Worlds number 1, again and again the undisputed player of the year,
What makes this Tiger rise above everyone else is that he has no fear.

Eagles that fly high above don’t spend time on the ground with birds,
So, why should he come down to earth and defend himself over words?
Sure, it was an unfortunate mistake but since Eldrick wants to move on,
Who has the right to make less than five seconds last so very long?

If Woods was the kind of person to hold a grudge and harbor pain,
The golfing world or anyone for that matter would not know his name,
Many a promising career has been stifled looking for others to blame,
Here’s another thought, what if Jesus spoke and a thousand angles came?

Slavery is supposedly over but in most minds it can’t be that easy to mend,
For everything that has a beginning there is a middle followed by the end,
OK, Kelly Tilghman said it, she apologized, and this incident is over when?
The precise moment Tiger accepted her responsibility saying, “She’s a friend,”

Spousal & child abuse, drunk drivers, sexual slavery, genocide in Kenya is unjust,
The war Americans should not be in, drug addiction, gas prices, much to discuss,
Unscrupulous politicians and others leaders behind closed doors we cannot trust,
General Motors and Ford selling cars that after three years on the road start to rust.

It’s not the first incident between this black vs. white and certainly not the last,
However, no person or race will experience forward progress living in the past,
Yes, it’s true that when you do not know history, greater the chance for a repeat,
But, when harboring malice in your hear revenge becomes bitter not sweet.

A family man now with a lot more on his mind like a wife and baby girl,
If the child had been born a boy there’s no doubt his name would be Earl,
There are many other concerns, how about the failure of public education?
Especially in inner city neighborhoods, what about that racial intimidation?

A tiger in the woods smells blood and begins searching for his prey,
A Tiger named Woods senses blood and knows victory is a bird away,
A tiger in the woods encircles his domain knowing the his meal isn’t far,
A Tiger named Woods knows the fight is over cause he’s 20 under par.

A tiger in the woods needs to catch and eat per day 40lbs. of raw meat,
A Tiger named Woods gets full consuming an eagle or two for his treat,
What do these two animals have in common besides the Tiger name?
How about both of them priestly sit atop of their individual food chain.

A tiger on the loose in San Francisco killed one with two on the way,
A Tiger at the Buick Open will maul an entire field in the game he plays,
I wonder what’s the difference between these two, an animal and the man?
Well, one likes to romp in the jungle while the other likes to play in sand.

Apparently, not many people know the history of the famous Tiger Woods,
Question? Just how many golf courses did he practice on deep in the hood?
Wait just one minute because it’s time to mention one very important thing,
Did we or did we not just celebrate a holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King?

How do you think the greatest African American Hero might respond to this?
Eloquent words of wisdom or by returning hatred with the raising of his fist?
The bad news is that it’s 2008 and sadly racial indifferences will never change,
Good news is neither will the exceptional talent by which Tiger plays the game.

By Luke Easter

OpenID lyricsfromlucas -- 1/26/2008 2:51 PM  


to all you people that are so against the lynch remard and say that it "cuts deep" to african-americans...
how many of you have actually seen a lynching? none? that going to be my guess. why would something that you've never seen and/or something that you have only read about your ancestors bother you so much. i'm irish and my ancestors were in slaved a whole lot longer than the african-americans here in america. and yet, i'm not going to get all bent out of shape when someone makes a comment about potatoes or drinking. no, in fact my great grandparents were indentured servants that immigrated to america from ireland. both were subjegated to the racist society that is america. and yet, i don't seek reprisal for what happened in the past. move on and get over it that a reporter said the word lynch.

Anonymous mcr -- 2/08/2008 10:11 AM  


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