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Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

Posted on: November 7, 2011 11:12 am
Edited on: November 7, 2011 11:47 am

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Steve Williams was in his comfort zone.

Speaking before members of his fraternity, clearly comfortable that he was among friends, self-assured that he had nothing but allies lending a sympathetic ear.

Sound familiar?

No, we’re not talking about the now-infamous caddie awards banquet on Friday night in China, where Williams offered a racial slur about former boss Tiger Woods that has since become the biggest topic in global golf.

Nope, we’re referencing a radio interview that Williams did with New Zealand talk-shot host Murray Deaker shortly before Sunday’s final round of the World Golf Championships mega-money HSBC Champions event in Shanghai.

Deaker freely professed to being Williams’ “mate” during the broadcast on influential Newstalk ZB in Auckland, and went out of his way to give his countryman every chance to explain away his comments at the raucous caddie dinner, where Williams received an award and used the term “black arse----” in reference to part of Woods’ anatomy.

Despite offering an apology on his website the day after his Woods quote came to light in several international publications, Williams seemed anything but contrite in the radio interview. At ease and clearly comfortable while speaking to a familiar audience in New Zealand’s most populated city, Williams was downright dismissive of the reaction his comments have caused.

Deaker began the interview by offering an olive branch, if not a get-out-of-jail-free card, to Williams by excusing the comments since they were uttered at a caddie function where hilarity was the order of the day.

Said Deaker: “I wonder if we understand the environment where the Steve Williams comments were passed. It was a caddies’ function …. I think a caddies' function would be somewhat different, than suddenly what you have to say there appearing, stark, in newspapers around the world, and front pages at that.”

Williams, speaking from Shanghai, attempted to set the context of the scene in a posh Shanghai hotel, where his verbal bomb went off.

“It’s an annual thing they have at the HSBC championship here in Shanghai, an annual caddie awards ceremony,” Williams said by phone. “It’s strictly for caddies only. Of course, some of the media invite themselves along. It’s kind of like a locker-room environment, everyone was having a good time. My comments were by no means the worst comments that were passed – there was a lot of profanity and other kinds of remarks.

“Just because I make a remark regarding my former employee (sic), it gets blown way out of proportion. You know, it’s absolutely ridiculous.”

Deaker cited a report in a prominent U.K. paper, the Daily Mail, which stated that several jaws dropped in the banquet room when Williams offered the slur. Williams said quite the opposite was true.

“No,” Williams said. “It’s incredible when you are actually there and at something, and you can even perceive that when you watch a game of rugby and are there and watch it and you read in the paper the difference of opinion between you watching and a reporter viewing it.

“It’s the same thing. It was a fun sort of thing and everyone laughed their heads off. So what you read is absolutely ridiculous.”

Everyone laughed their heads off? Interestingly, a couple of caddies wasted no time in communicating their thoughts about Williams to scribes staying in Shanghai, though few spoke for attribution.

Deaker, clearly intent on helping Williams clean up his mess, suggested that stories quoting anonymous caddies had been completely fabricated by the print media. One caddie who was not identified was quoted in a story as saying of Williams, “We knew he was an idiot, but we didn’t know he was a racist idiot.”

“Murray, you make one comment like that in a room having a bit of fun, how does that make you a racist?” Williams said. “We live in a country that is multi-cultural society and we owe a hell of a lot of our ancestry and tradition and culture in New Zealand to a lot of the Polynesian communities and that. I don’t think you can say anyone in New Zealand is a racist.

“We live in the Maori culture, which is a great culture, along with a lot of island people. New Zealanders in no way, I don’t think any New Zealander, is racist. That’s so far off beat it’s a joke.”

Speaking of jokes, that’s what Williams says his crack about Woods was intended to be. He said defensively that other humor of the night and said he had no idea that he had stepped on his tongue publicly yet again.

“I wasn’t the first person up on stage and having listened to some of the profanity that was used and coming from some of the players that were in attendance as well, and then listening to the HSCB spokesperson who got up and made a speech, and listened to some of his comments that were very funny but way worse than mine -- no one mentioned anything about what he had to say.

“I didn’t give it one thought, to be honest with you.”

Well, certainly not beforehand, anyway. Sort of makes his apology ring hollow, no?

Given the banquet’s rowdy nature, Deaker asked why this had happened to Williams.

“I think, obviously, having worked for my former employee (sic), anything that’s linked to him – and of course I worked for him for a substantial amount of time – any sort of controversy that somebody can make up, I think that’s the sort they love to do.

“Like I said, it is absolutely making a mountain hill out of a mole hole. I am not worried about it one bit.”

Sounds like he’s really learned a lesson, huh?

The PGA and European tours on Sunday jointly declined to sanction Williams over his comments, though it's within their purview to do so. Williams' new boss, Adam Scott, reiterated Sunday that he will not bench Williams and the pair are set to team up at three big events in Scott's native Australia over the next month, including the Australian Open and Presidents Cup matches over the next two weeks.

Category: Golf
Since: Nov 15, 2011
Posted on: November 15, 2011 1:04 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 16, 2008
Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:09 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

again the key thing is that Steve Williams is an idiot.  Period

Since: Nov 26, 2009
Posted on: November 9, 2011 9:21 am

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

This has nothing to do with political correctness, but everything to do with actual correctness. Are you saying that racism and bullying are okay? Tell that to any parent who's child has been beaten up and picked on to the point that suicide is the only way out for them, tell that to the kid who comes home wondering why his skin color is getting him picked on at school. These situations are very real. I live in Nova Scotia, Canada. Look up how many kids in this province have killed themselves because of racism, being fat, being gay just being plain different than the others. You can't realistically tell me that that is okay. The children who do this innocent "teasing" grow into adults who still believe it is okay act this way as an adult. Then people justify it by saying that everybody does it and it's a rite of passage growing up. That's complete and utter BS!

So to go back to your question:  You mean to tell me we're no longer allowed to use the word "Black" anymore? You can absolutely use the word black, the word in itself is not racist, common knowledge. The reason it was taken the way that it was is because Steve could have made the same point leaving Tigers color out of it. For the sake of argument lets spin this for a second. When Tiger let Steve go, had he said he was parting ways with Steve's white a--, how do you think that would be taken? I know how I would take it as well as the majority of people out there. Wrong is wrong no matter who says it.

I am allowed to be offended by his comment and voice my opinion because I am a customer of the PGA Tour. I buy some of their products, their sponsors products and I watch/play golf pretty near every week. You're right, life is full of disappointments, but there is a very real difference between disappointment and flat out hate speech which causes intentional pain.  

Since: Nov 30, 2007
Posted on: November 9, 2011 8:50 am

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

Anyone who thinks calling someone black is a racial slur is an idiot. That is all.

Since: Oct 16, 2008
Posted on: November 9, 2011 8:31 am

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

How this guy gets so much publicity is beyond me.   The guy is a caddie who rode tigers coat tails.   This guy is an idiot also.   I would have given anything to be at a tourney with him when he trying to control the crowd from chewing gum when tiger was hitting and cold cock him.  The guy is a tool and he needs to go away.  Scott needs to let him go and maybe he can become the next Crocodile Dundee or sing with Men at Work

Since: Nov 9, 2011
Posted on: November 9, 2011 3:40 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jul 4, 2008
Posted on: November 8, 2011 11:16 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

It's just like Hitler caddying for Hank Williams, Jr.

Since: Sep 23, 2009
Posted on: November 8, 2011 10:30 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

From what I've seen and read of Williams over the years he's come off like an  ignorant a$$hole, Scott should fire him and find someone who isn't an idiot.

Since: Sep 23, 2011
Posted on: November 8, 2011 8:36 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

Well said Big Foley ! Wink

Since: Mar 30, 2008
Posted on: November 8, 2011 6:16 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

You people need a life.  Was it a joke?  Yes.  Was it told poorly?  Yes.  Was it a dumb thing to say?  Yes.  Was it racial?  No.  You mean to tell me we're no longer allowed to use the word "Black" anymore?  It's just a word.  Stop with all of this political correctness nonsense.  Here's the question.  Did Tiger Woods find it offensive?  If he did, then an apology was in order.  And the apology has occurred.  I can't believe we're defending Tiger Woods.  People have been making fun of other people since the beginning of time.  Maybe someone is heavy, short, bald, they have a big nose, big ears, a hairy back.  It's the person that learns to deal with these issues that comes out on top.  But unfortunately, we have the media around to ask questions like "Well, weren't you offended by that", and then a non-story becomes a story.  It's a disagreement between an employee and a former boss.  I guess we all like the boss we work for and never say anything bad about them, never.  C'mon.  It's a caddie and a golfer.  It's not 2 heads of state.  Let the 2 of them work it out among themselves.  If you're that offended, then you might want to move to Antartica.  Because these kinds of things happen in all parts of the world.  Life is full of disappointments.  You get over them, and you move on.  

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