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: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: November 7, 2011 12:26 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

When it said Caddie Williams, i though they were talking about cadillac williams...

Since: Apr 26, 2007
Posted on: November 7, 2011 12:25 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

I am so sick and tired of our society taking any little comment the wrong way and points it towards racism. 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. The most racist people are the first ones to cry racism. What happened to freedom of speech. We can't push church values on you because of freedom of religion, but we will dictate on what you can and cannot say anymore even though the Constitution says we have freedom of speech. Isn't that a Dictatorship. Our society is so thin skinned anymore that it is sad. No wonder we are push overs in every way possible.

Since: Nov 15, 2006
Posted on: November 7, 2011 12:19 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

i agree 100 percent with this persons view, why is it okay for SO CALLED minoritys to use racial slurs against whites why arent the media jumping all over there butts like they do to white people...i mean come on people why is it ok to have black only colleges and there are quite a that is racist...come on its a known fact that shaquille oneil hates white people and hell tell you that but if a white man says anything its people get your facts staight it wasnt even white people that started slavery,oh yea and by the way that was over 200 yrs ago get over it

Since: Dec 29, 2006
Posted on: November 7, 2011 12:17 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

Does anyone really think a racist would caddy for a black man for over a decade?  Quit feeding the ridiculousness of this.

Since: Jan 4, 2008
Posted on: November 7, 2011 12:03 pm

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

The racism angle is lame. Referring to someone's black butt is not racist nor is it a slur. Williams is right, it is ridiculous. The media again is trying to manufacture a story rather than reporting on one.
I think the btter point is Williams' bitterness. And sometimes race plays into bitterness, but I don't see it here. Williams needs to realize he is waaaaaaay better off for being Woods' caddy and to stop whining about getting canned. And good for William for doing just fine without Woods... which is the best revenge of all.

Since: Jun 4, 2007
Posted on: November 7, 2011 11:53 am

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

Though I don't agree with some of your "slang terms" I do agree with you ugly luggage.  I am SO TIRED of the media/athletes/actors playing the race card.  What is ammusing, is only around 20% of the WORLD'S population is white, yet white's are the ones who get abused and torn apart in the media if we say anything racial about blacks, orientals or mexicans.  It's ridiculous...If anything, white's are the minority now and should start opening up white-only college funds and have a white-man holiday.  Come on America, give it a rest!

Since: Jun 5, 2007
Posted on: November 7, 2011 11:47 am

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

Williams showing his true colours.  Unbelievable that he went from the guy who was wronged by Tiger and had public sympathy to being revealed to be the jerk that he is, to the extent that people might actually feel bad for Tiger over these incidents.  Williams has an ego as big as any player's, and frankly all he does is carry the bag and give the yardage and a club suggestion - he doesn't make the shots or the putts.  He forgets that Tiger made him a very rich man, and gave him credibility.  Steve, it was Tiger who won those tourneys and made that money, not you.  Keep this up, and you may not be carrying the bag for anyone - Adam Scott is too classy to have you tarnish his reputation...

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: November 7, 2011 11:43 am

Williams explains slur to Kiwis, makes it worse

If he said "shove it up your a$$" that would have been not problem. Add the word "black" and the sky starts to fall? Why? Just guessing but maybe his a$$ is black. He didn't call him a porch monkey or spearing thrower or anything. So If we call someone a "black man" that is now a racist comment? Then why isn't black history month a probelm? You can't pick a choose what is racist. I would not be upset about the color if a black man called me a "white a$$hole". I don't see the problem.

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