During a European Awards dinner on Tuesday, golfer Sergio Garcia, joined by his Ryder Cup teammates on stage, responded to a question about inviting Tiger Woods, who he has a somewhat frosty relationship with, to dinner during next month’s U.S. Open.
His reply? “We will have him round every night. We will serve fried chicken.” Garcia said, according to Reuters London.
Now, we all know here on this side of the pond that a fried chicken reference to African-American man is an obvious racial remark, an it’s apparently known in Europe too, whether or not Garcia wants to downplay it as silly fun.
“I apologize for any offense that may have been caused by my comment on stage during The European Tour Players’ Awards dinner,” Garcia said. “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.”
Garcia’s comment, as Fuzzy Zoeller learned back in 1997, may cause him to lose a few endorsements as a result. Zoeller was subsequently dropped by endorsers after his similar remark, asking reporters to tell Woods not to ask for “fried chicken or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve” at the next year’s Champions dinner.