Blog Entry

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: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: November 7, 2011 5:08 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

It may have been stupid, but the word 'Black" is not a slur

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: November 7, 2011 4:54 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

Well, here's more proof you can't fix stupid!!  You especially can't fix stupid racists.

Since: Dec 6, 2006
Posted on: November 7, 2011 4:26 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

Is there a bigger asshole on the planet?

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: November 7, 2011 4:11 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

It's always amusing to hear people who are obviously racist, explain to us how something isn't racist:

Big Daddy Pump:
Now if it was a black, hispanic, or asian caddy and said I wanted to shove it up his white ***, then why wouldn't that be racism.
Well of course it would be racist. You still don't get it, do you?

Since: Oct 13, 2008
Posted on: November 7, 2011 4:09 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

I do find it interesting.

I consider myself to be non-racist.  I am a white male.  The majority of my friends are white, I guess, if I were to really stop and think about it.  I don't think it's because I don't like people of other races.  (because I do)  It just is what it is.
I would guess that 20-25% of my friends are black, hispanic, asian or something else that is not caucasian.
My closest friend is black/white/native american mixed.

I lay that out so that I have no hidden agendas.

What I find interesting is that it all comes down to the word "black".

If he had said I wanted to shove is straight up that bastard's "arsehole"!   It would have still likely leaked and been news.  Only then, they could have only stated "do you think it's because he's black?"  Answer would have been "No, it's because he's Tiger".  And, of course, they would have been right.


Because Williams used a (true, btw) reference that it was his "black" arsehole, that this becomes a racial slur.

As someone who was not present and did not hear the context, I can never know.  Which surprises me about all those that claim to.

A "racial slur" is usually a little stronger, in my experience.  It's also usually a subjective statement.  Not always, but typically.  This was, in fact, not a condemnation or a separation of white bums vs. black bums... it was, in fact, literally a descriptive (and quite obviously a true) term.

Is Williams a moron?  Seems to be a bit pompous and full of himself, yes.
Would I like him if I met him?  I doubt that I would, quite honestly.  I'd probably, being a bit over-inflated myself, deck him over a few brews.

That being said... does this comment make him a racist?  No.
Is he a racist?  I have no idea.

The real question I have... is is this comment racist?
Is it racial?  yes.
Is it racist?  I guess that completely depends on the user's intent... and/or the ears of the person hearing the comment.  Black ears, yellow ears, white ears, brown ears...

With white ass would not have heard it as racist, I don't believe.
Angry...yes.  Petty... yes.  But that refers to the comment as a whole.  Not the one word.

I heard that word as a non-biased adjective.
Others, obviously, did not.  And I respect that.

Since: Jun 22, 2009
Posted on: November 7, 2011 3:52 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

Do the bat boys and ring girls have an annual awards dinner as well?  If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

Since: Mar 18, 2008
Posted on: November 7, 2011 3:51 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

This has nothing to do with Tiger's behavior.  He wasn't speaking his mind...he made an racial joke about a black man.

Since: Mar 18, 2008
Posted on: November 7, 2011 3:49 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

The problem is that Williams has gotten away with his mouth and crude and rude (and violent) behavior (wrecking camera, etc.) for too long without any punishment.  So now we have a caddie above the rules.  His explanation makes it worse...the classic "there were other comments worse than mine" defense.  But I don't see anyone saying that there were racial comments...whether you believe the world is now too politically correct or not, we all know such comments are inappropriate and not funny any longer.  And the longer this goes, the less remorse he shows.  I cannot believe the powers that be didn't nail him this time...what does Williams have to do to be disciplined?  What rules of behavior apply to him?

Since: Nov 4, 2011
Posted on: November 7, 2011 3:30 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

None of us will ever know what Williams really meant by his comments about Tiger. Whether he meant it as a racial barb or not will be debated in the court of public opinion, however Adam Scott will definitely feel repercussions. Scott is a representative of Titelist. That company will definitely have it's corporate finger in the air to see if Scott's association with Williams is toxic to its marketing. The game of golf is endeavoring to become world wide and any company that markets golf equipment, etc., will be careful to make sure it is not perceived to be racist.

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: November 7, 2011 3:22 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

since when is calling a black person black a "slur." ?????  Something wrong with being black?

This *has* been blown way out of proportion, so much so that it's getting scary. A person should not be afraid to speak their mind at the risk of losing their job.

Lets think about Tiger Woods , shall we.He has had over 20 mistresses, all of them white and blond. Surely that makes it obvious that he doesn't care for black women. That 20 pieces of proof that he's a racist!!!! He should never be allowed on a golf course again, and all of his money should be taken away and given to the NAACP.

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