Sergio Garcia made a fried chicken joke about Tiger Woods at an awards gala in England last night.
When he was jokingly asked whether he’d invite Tiger over for dinner at the US Open, Sergio said, “We will have him ’round every night. We will serve fried chicken.”
He issued an apology last night, and held a press conference this morning to further discuss the incident. He said:
“I apologize for any offense that may have been caused by my comment onstage during the European Tour Players’ Awards dinner. I answered a question that was clearly made towards me as a joke with a silly remark, but in no way was the comment meant in a racist manner.”
You would think that by now the ‘fried chicken’ jokes would be tired. Back in 1997, Fuzzy Zoeller made a similar joke about Tiger Woods. The joke cost him his primary sponsor at the time, Kmart, and the controversy will more than likely overshadow his athletic successes.
Sergio Garcia currently has deals with Adidas/Taylor Made, among other companies. They released a statement this morning, saying:
“Sergio Garcia’s recent comment was offensive and in no way aligns with TaylorMade-adidas Golf’s values and corporate culture. We have spoken with Sergio directly and he clearly has regret for his statement and we believe he is sincere. We discussed with Sergio that his comments are clearly out of bounds and we are continuing to review the matter.”
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. Do you think Garcia’s joke was out of line?