A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Another Year, Another Slur
NEW YORK — 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.
I have not seen the clip, nor do I know the context of the remarks. This is what I know — that Tilghman, who never played on the LPGA Tour, said golf’s young players should “lynch Tiger Woods in a back alley.”
Had Woods been white, to use the most heinous crime committed in this nation to illustrate God-knows-what 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 Six 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 it begin to move past.
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 she can swing a golf club.
That is not the point. Tolerance at any level cannot be tolerated.
Your move, GC.
Tilghman has reportedly reached out to Woods to apologize. 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.