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: Jan 13, 2007
Posted on: November 7, 2011 3:16 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

Why is everyone so soft and emotional about the color of peoples skin,people could make a racial slur about me and I wouldn't care,and i haven't heard Tiger say anything either,move on,no big deal.

Since: Apr 12, 2007
Posted on: November 7, 2011 3:09 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

We now have some insight into why it is the SWilliams thinks he can go off on Tiger and how he is so upside down.  SWilliams states:  “Just because I make a remark regarding my former employee.."  UH..."employee" Steve?  This is indicative of a world-wide epidemic where chickens think they rule the roost, employees think they are the employers.  Employers are the ones out there creating, risking, putting it all on the line while employees, while most are good and work hard, reap the rewards including fat pay-checks despite NOT having to risk anything.

SWilliams made MILLIONS off Tiger Woods and now he has the audacity to act like a petulant little child??? WHO in the world does he think he is?
Oh, wait, he just told us.

Does anyone else see the correlation b/n this guy (SWilliams)'s moronic, racist rants against his former employER and the whole hollow Occupy movement? 

Since: Oct 9, 2009
Posted on: November 7, 2011 3:05 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

Steve Williams could have used a different adjective to qualify Tiger Woods "arse". He could have said "wife cheating arse", or "philandering arse", or "arrogant arse" or whatever and it would not have mattered that much. When he said "black arse", he brought race into it and for anyone of you to say that that is not the case, you are just in denial. Do you know how many death threats Tiger Woods gets just because he was playing golf and he was winning? Do you remember the Fuzzy Zoeller comment after Tiger won his first masters? And you want to talk as if racism is a thing that happened centuries ago.

To say the least, Williams brain is obviously not connected to his mouth. I guess the idea of being fired by a "black" golfer is something that his narrow mind just can't accept. 

Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: November 7, 2011 2:57 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

The Steve that we should be upset with is not Williams, but Elling.  Steve, you are a good writer. Why have you wasted three columns over the past three days to this insignificant story?  Let's admit that Williams was wrong.  Then, let's assume that the past three days have been slow days for golf news and you had column deadlines to meet.  (This is hard to believe since there was a tournament in progress.) Let's assume that you felt obligated to cover the story.  The second and third columns are still unjustified. We have learned to enjoy your columns, your integrity, and your credibility.  Don't go “all liberal-media” on us with politically correct nonsense. 

Since: Feb 20, 2008
Posted on: November 7, 2011 2:49 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

the problem is this guy has already taken a couple digs at tiger and perhaps rightfully so.....but on top of that to make a comment like this regardless of the environment is inappropriate and possibly enlightening to what he really thinks.....foot in mouth definitely applies to stevie even if he's not sure he did anything wrong.....these comments alone aren't the issue here.....correct?

Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: November 7, 2011 2:12 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

I would be more mad if I was Adam Scott than Tiger. It makes Scott look stupid having him on the bag, if he is just going to try and run his mouth.

Since: Jun 29, 2011
Posted on: November 7, 2011 2:04 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

slavery ended get over is retarded statement... truth is slavery ended sometime ago but blacks were not allow access to big colleges and schools etc till 1965 so the fact white folks came here with such a head start to look back and say look what i done is like me tying your hands behind you and whip your azz and then say i am the best fighter lol...tell you what make the playing field even and lets test these white supremacy theories the way if white folks are so smart why is the computer and car industry dominated by asians hmmmmmmmmm lol

My firend tireofcrap2, your analogies are weak. Look at medicine, aviation, atomic energy, astronomy, mechanical inventions,  etc. The fact is all races and nationalities have contributed to the world's progress. To stray from the topic, Williams comments, might make you feel better but adds nothng to this blog. From the tone of your statement, I am assuming you feel Williams is possibly a racist. If so, the the media has found another ardent listener. I and many others here feel it was an attempt to vent and not a racist comment at all. It does not diminish the fact that it was a dumb statement given the sensitive racial climate of today's society. But no, please understand, not intended to be racially defamatory by any means. Just a guy getting back at his old boss.

I realize you have issues with a (as you label it) a "retarded statement". Don't legitimize it by offering a polarized viewpoint. 

Since: Dec 22, 2006
Posted on: November 7, 2011 1:40 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

You're always the last one to know that everyone thinks you're an a-hole. That's what makes you an a-hole in the first place.

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: November 7, 2011 1:37 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

Williams did not make anything was not even a slur to begin with.  The term black never has been nor ever will be a slur.  Williams explaination it also right on was a roast type event..having a good time.
This is just another over the top media story here at all.

Since: May 7, 2009
Posted on: November 7, 2011 1:25 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

I'm curious;  have you ever heard a black person say anything negative about a white person?  Say, "plantation owner", "treats players like slaves", "honkie", "redneck", "hillbilly"?  Or for that matter, a black say "kiss my black ass"?  

English usage varies throughout the world, and imposing US PC standards from the 1980's is not appropriate.  Please get over this liberal guilt and move into the 21st century.

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