Thursday, January 10, 2008

Are You Ok With What Kelly Said?

The argument being made by many golf writers that know Tilghman (Craig Dolch here and Jeff Rude here), is that we should all be cool with the situation since Tiger is cool with it. After all, he was the guy being talked about in the remark that Kelly made and he does not take offense.

The problem, though, is that argument does not appear to fly within the African-American community. (Or at least part of it.) African-Americans have made numerous blog comments saying that while Tiger may be ok with it, that he isn't really black. And therefore, since he isn't really black, his opinion is moot. Also, that even if he didn't take offense to it (again, hypothesized cause he isn't black), other people still can and that is why Tilghman deserved to be suspended.

Of course, a lot of the people calling for Tilghman's head on a platter did not see the clip, do not watch golf, and have no idea of the type of person she actually is. Just like every racial slip of the tongue, though, that does not matter in the court of public opinion. If you say something remotely racist, then you are considered racist and should pay for it. That's just how it works.

Golf - like it or not - is still viewed as a white man's game. In this case, just a white person's game. Having a white person make a crass comment no matter the context is a problem for a sport that has racial acceptance issues. Having white columnists defend her remark by calling her nice and hard working (true by all accounts) does not assuage the people who want her gone for what she said. T

he group that is being charged with the crime - white people in golf commentary - cannot defend each other. Rather, the golf commentator needs a non-golf, non-white voice to say that things are ok and they should slide. Seemingly, Tiger Woods has been disqualified from being the absolver. Al Sharpton is not doing the job. Perhaps, then, if a black sports writer feels compelled to defend Tilghman, that would help her in this difficult situation. If not, though, there is nothing to help her perhaps but time.

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