Blog Entry

World tours pay lip service to Williams slur

Posted on: November 6, 2011 10:33 am
Edited on: November 6, 2011 10:40 am

What, you were expecting swift justice, some semblance of accountability, or at least a measure of transparency?

Slow learners, we are.

Sunday night in Shanghai, after the big-money HSBC Champions event concluded, the commissioners of the PGA and European tours offered a joint statement about the weekend’s other hot-button matter, the perceived racial slur uttered at an off-site banquet Friday night by controversial caddie Steve Williams.

In at apparent attempt at humor at the off-color awards banquet, the longtime bagman of Tiger Woods described his over-the-top celebration after new boss Adam Scott won in August as an attempt to “shove it up his black arse----.”

Williams was denigrating about Woods, his boss for parts of 13 years until he was sacked at midsummer, leaving the caddie feeling bitter and betrayed.

Given the game’s history as it relates to racial issues -- Woods is the lone player of African-American blood with exempt status in 2012 -- the condemnation was swift from all corners of the globe. However, it took two days for the tours to offer any formal comment, and when the wrist-slap was issued, it implied that zero punitive measures were taken.

The PGA Tour is empowered to sanction caddies, but implied that no action had been taken, other than to toss out a few late, hollow words.

“The International Federation of PGA Tours feels strongly there is no place for any form of racism in ours or any other sport,” the statement began.

Just not strongly enough to offer any sanction, apparently.

“We consider the remarks of Steve Williams, as reported, entirely unacceptable in whatever context,” the statement said. “We are aware that he has apologized fully and we trust we will not hear such remarks ever again. Based on this, we consider the matter closed, and we will have no further comment.”

This clears a path for Williams to caddie for Aussie-born Scott at the Australian Open later this week and next week at the Presidents Cup matches, where Williams, a New Zealander, will be a sideshow to the story – Woods is playing in both events.

Just another reminder that when it comes to discipline, the sport is long on talk and short on corrective action, especially the U.S. tour. John Daly had an inches-thick disciplinary file that was released in 2010 as part of a lawsuit, and it was learned that despite more suspensions and sanctions than any player in tour history, he had been fined approximately $100,000.

Faced with yet another chance to do the right thing, the professional game’s top officials did what they have done best for years – talked the talk, but skipped the walk.

Williams will get off Scott-free with the new boss, pardon the pun gymnastics. The world's No. 8 player said after his final round at HSBC that he would not suspend Williams for the Aussie Open or Presidents Cup matches and refused to be dragged further into the afffair.

That decision was ar least as disappointing as the non-action taken by the professional tours, given Scott's sterling reputation as a classy player who has rarely, it ever, made such a perceived public misstep. Bluntly asked if the tours were condoning racism by failing to take action -- a charge that could rightly be leveled at Scott himself -- the player blanched.

"Look, I don't [think] digging for a story out of me on this is a good idea," he told reporters.


Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: November 6, 2011 8:26 pm

World tours pay lip service to Williams slur

WHat was the exact quote he said all I see everywhere is black arse--, what is arse---?

Since: Feb 27, 2011
Posted on: November 6, 2011 7:43 pm

World tours pay lip service to Williams slur

Just a few thoughts from a white boy in the states:
1) I said this yesterday that Stevie said these words with the intention of them not being heard by anyone outside the room. This tells me that behind the closed doors of the PGA tour with no sponsors (hello Nike) to do the right thing, anything said and anything goes. Not much has changed in the world of golf- still an elitist white sport. The European and PGA tours just confirmed what was suspected. Deep down it is ok with them. That leads to these thoughts;
- In this world of social media and everything in your face, there is no reason to make any comments publicly that can be construed as racism. This was clearly wrong. If you are professional, you take the extra step to be extra careful.
- I have never been a fan of Tiger but do think the golf world needs him. He doesn't address racism or his heritage. With the closed door policy of the PGA tour, doesn't anyone else wonder what has been said that he hasn't talked about? That is kind of horrible to think about. I thought we, as humans were better than that.
- Adam Scott- this is totally on you. YOUR employee ran off at the mouth and if anything, this is the second thing he has done. He is a caddy and at the very least- should assert your authority of your employee. Evidently, Stevie owns your clubs and balls (pun intended). Stevie only did as much as Tiger allowed him to do.
- As I firnly sit in the "Leftie" camp, I was never a big Tiger fan, but I can say, he is clearly the greatest golfer who has ever played the game. The scary thing is, his confidence grows each week and this garbage by Stevie may be enough to ignite that fire. Look out PGA tour.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: November 6, 2011 4:53 pm

World tours pay lip service to Williams slur

Nevermind the fact that if Woods was still the best in golf that Williams would not have parted ways with him....if Woods was still the best in golf the tours would have dealt with Williams swiftly and with extreme prejudice. They would have done anything they could to stop NIKE from regning down on the tour and giving them grief for not standing up for Woods. But since Woods is no longer winning, no longer drawing large crowds, no longer bringing in millions upon millions of sponsor dollars the tours bosses simply say "Tiger.....who?"

Since: May 16, 2007
Posted on: November 6, 2011 4:33 pm

World tours pay lip service to Williams slur

Racism isn't a new thing for some star golfers from the UK, South Africa and Australia, etc. , including Scott. Some of these fellows tend to be elitist and racist. This is just an example.

Since: Oct 27, 2006
Posted on: November 6, 2011 4:09 pm

World tours pay lip service to Williams slur

Adam Scott, should have suspended him....So by not doing anything to him, Scott obvisouly doesn't care what he said....

Going to be interesting when these two are supposed to be paired will something to watch....

I don't think Tiger will even say anything to Steve.....and before they tee off they usually shake hands with caddies, players....

Since: May 8, 2007
Posted on: November 6, 2011 2:30 pm

World tours pay lip service to Williams slur

Meanwhile NFL players are being 15k every time they hit someone the wrong way. If I were Adam Scott I would definitely get rid of Steve Williams. I'm sure he's a great caddie and all, but it aint worth it if he's going to bring forth these types of distractions.

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: November 6, 2011 1:15 pm

World tours pay lip service to Williams slur

He should have said, "Colored ass".  then there would be no problem.

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: November 6, 2011 11:58 am

World tours pay lip service to Williams slur

Latrops: So following your logic, if Woods had been white, Williams would have said "I'd like to shove it up his white ass----"? Think about that.

Since: Dec 9, 2008
Posted on: November 6, 2011 11:48 am

World tours pay lip service to Williams slur

should have said afro-american a$$

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: November 6, 2011 11:46 am

World tours pay lip service to Williams slur

And I take the opposite view.  Certainly, I'd rather Williams hadn't said it, but from the start of this blog the comment is described as a "perceived racial slur".  That's the point, it wasn't actually a racial slur...regardless of how some choose to perceive it.  The media loves race stories, and this is yet another situation where some people are trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill.  What Williams said was tasteless, immature, and petty, but it probably was not racially motivated.  Even so, he has apparently apologized.  Regardless, Williams may be justified in being upset over how his relationship with Woods ended, but he does need to get over it. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or