Sportscaster jokes about "lynching" Tiger Woods

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Michelle
Sportscaster jokes about "lynching" Tiger Woods

 

Michelle

[url=http://www.blackamericaweb.com/site.aspx/sayitloud/phillips115]That's one mighty big flub-up, dude.[/url]

quote:

During a Golf Channel telecast of the Mercedes-Benz Championship, announcer Kelly Tilghman and co-host Nick Faldo were discussing young players who could possibly challenge Tiger Woods. Faldo jokingly said perhaps the youngsters should "gang up (on Tiger) for a while." The pair laughed a bit before Tilghman responded by saying, "Lynch him in a back alley." Later in the telecast, Tilghman attempted to rectify her gaffe, saying, "I can assure you that there was never any intention to offend anyone. I'm sorry for any misunderstanding."

She has continued to apologize and has apparently even spoken to Tiger personally. It may, however, take a bit more genuflecting than that to save her job. In spite of her apology and Tiger’s acceptance, she was suspended for two weeks, and there have been calls from some quarters that Tilghman be fired.


Holy crap.

By the way, I know nothing about this web site I got the story from - it was just the first hit on google news. I'm surprised at the opinion in the editorial. I don't know if she should be fired, because people screw up and she likely did use the word without thinking through the racial baggage first. But, as we know, intent doesn't really matter if the result is racist.

Michelle

P.S. I went to YouTube to find a video clip of this. The first two I looked at were really special.

One introduced the clip with this question written on the screen: "Should this heffa be fired like Imus?"

The second clip was an "opinion piece" by some guy in his bedroom which was actually rather amusing, if rambly. That is, until about 2/3 of the way through it, when they flashed a screen that said, "Revoked bitch" as he was talking about how she should only be covering white athletes.

Indiana Jones

I saw this issue being discussed on some sports talk show on ESPN and the host, a very good sportscaster named Michael Wilbon (who is, himself, black) said that he knows this woman and that she's in no way racist, that this was a stupid slip and that she feels terrible about it.

I can see that she could say this without intending it to be racist. If she had used the term "lynch" with regards to a white athlete in the same context, no one would have noticed it. it would ahve been insensitive but she wouldn't have caused a controversy. I don't think she used it in teh context of Woods being black. It was in the context of him being the best golfer who other guys want to stop. But, obviously, because Wooods IS black, it was absolutely the wrong thing to say. We all make slips sometimes and say stupid things. She apologized. She got suspended. She seems genuinely sorry. I don't think she should lose her job over this.

Maysie Maysie's picture

This is what we in the lucrative Anti Racism (tm) biz like to call a "no-brainer".

Indiana Jones, my only response to this:

quote:

I can see that she could say this without intending it to be racist. If she had used the term "lynch" with regards to a white athlete in the same context, no one would have noticed it. it would ahve been insensitive but she wouldn't have caused a controversy. I don't think she used it in teh context of Woods being black. It was in the context of him being the best golfer who other guys want to stop. But, obviously, because Wooods IS black, it was absolutely the wrong thing to say. We all make slips sometimes and say stupid things.

is, would you like a yoga mat? I'm concerned you're going to pull a muscle with all those contortions.

From the blog reappropriate:

quote:

The point is that implying or joking about lynching a Black man is offensive to the viewing public. And whether Tilghman was racist, or just tired and sprinkled with TinKKKerbell pixie dust, she needs to be reprimanded for the offense that comment caused. I applaud the Golf Channel for their quick response to this matter.

On the blog she talks about "The Racism Fairy" that makes otherwise wonderful and non-racist white folks say the darndest racist things! It just happens! Must be the Racism Fairy!

In terms of Kelly being fired or suspended, I really don't know what I think should have happened to her. It's not like she (or Don Imus or Michael Richards or Mel Gibson) said anything outside of how they normally talk, they just got caught on the air. Making "an example" of each of these individual cases does very little to move any dialogue or god forbid, social change. So I really don't know.

Also, the sexist crap that has arisen ("Fire the b***ch", etc) is really not helpful.

Michelle

quote:


Originally posted by bigcitygal:
[b]On the blog she talks about "The Racism Fairy" that makes otherwise wonderful and non-racist white folks say the darndest racist things! It just happens! Must be the Racism Fairy![/b]

[img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img] [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

[url=http://www.reappropriate.com/?p=956](Link to the quote)[/url]

[ 16 January 2008: Message edited by: Michelle ]

Maysie Maysie's picture

Argh, I forgot the link. Thanks Michelle!

Indiana Jones

quote:


Originally posted by bigcitygal:
[b]

In terms of Kelly being fired or suspended, I really don't know what I think should have happened to her. It's not like she (or Don Imus or Michael Richards or Mel Gibson) said anything outside of how they normally talk, they just got caught on the air.
[/b]


How do you know that this is how she normally talks? Michael Wilbon who knows her better than any of us do has said that this was completely out of character and doesn't reflect any sort of racism within her. I don't think it was nearly as bad as what Gibson or imus said either. She used a poor and insensitive analogy which is different than expressing racist opinions like Imus and Gibson did. Does anyone actually believe that she was calling for Tiger Woods to be killed?

All of us ahve said something stupid at some point. We've probably used insensitive analogies at some point. She made a mistake. She apologized. She was disciplined. As she should be. But I don't think that one screwup like this should ruin her career.

Martha (but not...

I agree that Tilghman's remark is offensive, and shows extremely poor judgement. Even if such thoughts occur to one, one should be professional enough not to share them with the rest of the world.

A small point: Tiger Woods is only 1/4 African American. His ancestry is also 1/2 Asian (1/4 Chinese and 1/4 Thai) 1/8 Native American, and 1/8 Dutch. According to Wikipedia, he calls himself "Cablinasian" (Caucasian, Black, American-Indian, and Asian).

Slumberjack

Hmmmm....the word 'lynch' used in a conversation about a highly skilled, popular, and wealthy black athlete. In that context, or any similar sportscasting context where black athletes are the topic of interest, there are few other words that are more revolting and inconsiderate. Couldn't an experienced sports journalist have come up with something better? This incident was no mere slip of the tongue. It may have been off the cuff, but it came out from somewhere.

Stargazer

Totally racist, however way she paints it. "Lynching"? Come on!

Bacchus

And oddly enough, shes a good friend of Tiger

But if it turns out like Imus, she will be rewarded with 100 million dollars then get a new million dollar paying gig

ChicagoLoopDweller

I am curious whether people think that the response of the person spoken about matters. In the Rutgers/Imus case, the women on the team were rightfully irate. Woods on the other hand has indicated through his agent that it is not a big deal to him...although I wonder if she will ever get another Tiger exclusive. I guess my question is, if Tiger doesn't care, should we?

Slumberjack

quote:


Originally posted by ChicagoLoopDweller:
[b]I am curious whether people think that the response of the person spoken about matters. In the Rutgers/Imus case, the women on the team were rightfully irate. Woods on the other hand has indicated through his agent that it is not a big deal to him...although I wonder if she will ever get another Tiger exclusive. I guess my question is, if Tiger doesn't care, should we?[/b]

She's a public broadcaster on a station with a national audience. Some viewers who picked up on it would be understandbly offended by the 'lynch' comment. To answer your question, yes, we should.

AfroHealer

quote:


Originally posted by Indiana Jones:
[b]

How do you know that this is how she normally talks? Michael Wilbon who knows her better than any of us do has said that this was completely out of character and doesn't reflect any sort of racism within her. [/b]


Let me help to break it down to you.

When you catch someone breaking the law (i.e Robbing a bank), does the fact that this is thier first armed robbery mean that they are not guilty?

Does the fact that they usually work as a security guard, at the bank, and have not robbed the bank for all the other days of their career except today matter?

Racism is a serious matter, arguably more seriously and devastating than robbing a bank.

let the healing continue

Ibelongtonoone

It is strange that she choose to use the word "lynch" when making this joke - if she had said kidnap or beat up no one would have blinked.

The word lynch has a more specific meaning, especially when speaking (even in a hypothetical joke) about a Asian/African/Native American like Tiger.

I feel sorry for her only in the sense that a career can be ruined so quickly by speaking without thinking.

BTW - everyone has prejudices - only self righteous people think theirs are OK.

Michelle

quote:


Originally posted by ChicagoLoopDweller:
[b]I guess my question is, if Tiger doesn't care, should we?[/b]

Tiger is not the only one affected by her racist comments. In fact, he's probably the least affected, considering his position of privilege. Everyone who hears racist remarks are affected by them - and everyone who interacts with people who hear racist remarks are affected.

Indiana Jones

quote:


Originally posted by AfroHealer:
[b]

Let me help to break it down to you.

When you catch someone breaking the law (i.e Robbing a bank), does the fact that this is thier first armed robbery mean that they are not guilty?

Does the fact that they usually work as a security guard, at the bank, and have not robbed the bank for all the other days of their career except today matter?

[/b]


Actually, yes. Courts generally DO consider if this was someone's first offense versus whether there is a long history of criminala ctivity. if it's a first mistake and there's room to improve, tehy'll usually get a far more lenient punishment than someone who habitually committs crimes and doesn't show any remorse for it.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

quote:


Originally posted by ChicagoLoopDweller:
[b]I guess my question is, if Tiger doesn't care, should we?[/b]

Um, because we're decent, responsible human beings?

Pogo Pogo's picture

George Carlin had the 7 words you can't say on TV. Modernize that list and one would assume that knowing them would be one of the basic requirements for doing the job.

Way back when I work at the sawmill if we entered certain machinery without locking out the electrical box the supervisor had no choice but to fire us. It didn't matter if we had a temporary memory lapse or not. Some actions are firing offences. If you bend on zero tolerance, then you have some level of tolerance.

Noise

From the initial article:

quote:

... But instead of talking about what she didn’t mean but should have foreseen, we would be discussing the implications of a sports announcer suggesting that rather than attempting to replicate the example of discipline and dedication practiced by Woods, athletes should resort to cheating and dirty tricks in order to compete -- a discussion that I think would be far more interesting and far more fair than the one currently on the table.

Tilghman's suspension does not further the cause of racial justice, nor does it move us towards racial reconciliation. In fact, the purposeful disregard for meaning is what prevents us from the very conciliation we seek. It is the topsy-turvy hypersensitivity borne of race and in our contemporary times that has reached truly absurd levels. Compliments become insults, and reality is turned upside down; one is not allowed to acknowledge that black men are articulate, that black athletes are athletic or that black folk like fried chicken. Recall the Washington D.C. “niggardly” controversy?

At some point, people must be able to say what is on their mind without censoring everything for fear of meanings being distorted beyond recognition and interposition by the race police. Such obstacles lessen our ability to truly speak to one another. Instead of true communication, we get bogged down in race and are thus prevented from a true and significant exchange of ideas.


Any opinions on this part of the article, particularily the last paragraph?

[ 17 January 2008: Message edited by: Noise ]

Ibelongtonoone

The first paragraph quoted doesn't make sense because she wasn't seriously suggesting they do this.

The last paragraph - using loaded words.

A word like niggardly, is just a rarely used old word which has no relation to the slur used against african americans. Only people unaware of it's history and meaning would be offended.

Not sure of the origin of the word lynching but I can't think of any other context besides KKK, Mississippi, hanging from trees - maybe the word has been used in a different context before but I don't know it.

Pogo Pogo's picture

There is a difference between the average person and a professional broadcaster.

Michelle

Exactly. Although I think the suspension is a good thing. I'm not sure whether she should be fired or not. She seems to realize what she did wrong, and she certainly won't do it again. Not much more you can do than apologize profusely, admit you fucked up, accept your punishment, and move on.

Tommy_Paine

I heard about this earlier this week. I think it's wrong to say she isn't "racist", but I'd hardly put her in the same category as white supremacists, or George Wallace.

But it's an ignorance kind of racism. And not terribly excusable. Not only does it show her ignorance concerning the origins and practice of lynching in the States, we all had a refresher when white kids hung nooses from the "white only" tree in Jena, Louisiana not even a year ago.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

And it's given some whack jobs a reason to further it:

[url=http://sports.espn.go.com/golf/news/story?id=3201070]ESPN[/url]

quote:

In the magazine's news story noted sociologist Harry Edwards said the public should accept Tilghman's apology. "If we stopped the train every time somebody made a dumb remark that is potentially offensive," he is quoted as saying, "we'd never progress as a society."

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, in a statement, said: "Clearly, what Kelly said was inappropriate and unfortunate and she obviously regrets her choice of words. But we consider Golfweek's imagery of a swinging noose on its cover to be outrageous and irresponsible. It smacks of tabloid journalism. It was a naked attempt to inflame and keep alive an incident that was heading to an appropriate conclusion."


[img]http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2008/0117/pga_gw_covernoose_300.jpg[/img]

[ 17 January 2008: Message edited by: RevolutionPlease ]

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:
[b]I heard about this earlier this week. I think it's wrong to say she isn't "racist", but I'd hardly put her in the same category as white supremacists, or George Wallace.

But it's an ignorance kind of racism. And not terribly excusable. Not only does it show her ignorance concerning the origins and practice of lynching in the States, we all had a refresher when white kids hung nooses from the "white only" tree in Jena, Louisiana not even a year ago.[/b]


I guess the debate I enjoy is what is the correct way to deal with it. I believe she responded very quickly to the gaffe and made a swift and clear apology. She spoke personally with Tiger about it and was clearly repentent.

Then Sharpton calls for her to be fired, so they suspended her for 2 weeks. I too believe it was a racist use of words but I'm not sure if I'm with Sharpton here.

Should I be?

Slumberjack

quote:


Originally posted by Scott Piatkowski:
[b]

Um, because we're decent, responsible human beings?[/b]


Well,,,perhaps. Most stone throwers have a few glass windows in their own house.

Slumberjack

quote:


Originally posted by RevolutionPlease:
[b]

I guess the debate I enjoy is what is the correct way to deal with it. I believe she responded very quickly to the gaffe and made a swift and clear apology. She spoke personally with Tiger about it and was clearly repentent.
Then Sharpton calls for her to be fired, so they suspended her for 2 weeks. I too believe it was a racist use of words but I'm not sure if I'm with Sharpton here. Should I be?[/b]


Tough call. Not sure if a suspension accomplishes anything, it's like a temporary time out in the corner at kindergarden. If one leans toward the concept of forcing those who have demonstrated the capacity for committing public racial gaffes further toward the outer fringe of mainstream discourse, and hopefully off the edge, then a firing is the appropriate response. Then again, are there not some instances where gross human error can be considered redeemable. More meaningful I believe would be voluntary community service among those who would stand to be affected the most by such a comment.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Slumberjack:
[b]

Well,,,perhaps. Most stone throwers have a few glass windows in their own house.[/b]


Care to explain??? That post wasn't directed at you???

Slumberjack

quote:


Originally posted by RevolutionPlease:
[b]

Care to explain??? That post wasn't directed at you???[/b]


I'll try not to get too anecdotal, but bear with me if I stray a little. Many people like pointing fingers at wrong doing and of course there's nothing wrong with that. I believe it's more useful to assume a measure of personal responsibility for society's issues and not to look at things as just being someone else's problem. I believe issues of racism to be an "us" problem, not a "them" problem, because even though one may not suscribe to looking at things in stereotype, being silent about it in one's surroundings in my view contributes to the problem. If people aren't willing to do something about racism within their own area, they might as well live in a glass house. Being the white spouse of an immigrant, raising our children from previous relationships under the same roof, I can honestly say that prior to our meeting, I lived a gated and blissfully ignorant existance, never having to encounter or recognize the invisible barriers. Now of course, it's quite visible everywhere, but the problem with it, is that it was only revealed to me when it became personal. I've now often experienced the unpleasantness of having to personally confront these barriers when they've reared their ugly heads, not only for my family, but in conjunction with others, because of course our social circle is more diverse than I could have ever imagined before. So the internal debate centers on the question "why?" Do I involve myself in these matters because of some sort of atonement for my past unawarenes, because of my own personal circumstance now, or because I now see and detest what others have to live with on a daily basis? I've determined it's a combination of all these factors. Besides, if people here waited for posts to be directed at themselves before offering their own two cents, many threads would be bare.

[ 18 January 2008: Message edited by: Slumberjack ]

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Slumberjack:
[b]Well,,,perhaps. Most stone throwers have a few glass windows in their own house.[/b]

I've said plenty of stupid things in my life (just click on my posting history [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img] ). But, if I ever say anything [b]that[/b] stupid and offensive I would hope that all of the decent, responsible human beings of the world would be outraged and that I would face the consequences of my actions.

Slumberjack

quote:


Originally posted by Scott Piatkowski:
[b]

I've said plenty of stupid things in my life (just click on my posting history [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img] ). But, if I ever say anything [b]that[/b] stupid and offensive I would hope that all of the decent, responsible human beings of the world would be outraged and that I would face the consequences of my actions.[/b]


You have an issue about what I posted? or are you referring to the 'lynch' controversy? Or both? [img]confused.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 18 January 2008: Message edited by: Slumberjack ]

Bacchus

[url=http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/01/18/golfweek.cover/index.html]Golf Magazine Editor fired for cover on Lynch controversy[/url]

martin dufresne

Isn't there a gender dimension to this? It was an extremely unforgiving cover image, and we all know how hostile to females the sportscasters environement is. If ever there was a boy's club beside the Armed Forces, that's one.
So on one hand you have a slip of the tongue, on the other you have a concerted opportunistic decision.
I'm glad that it is the editor who got fired.

Slumberjack

quote:


Originally posted by martin dufresne:
[b]Isn't there a gender dimension to this? It was an extremely unforgiving cover image, and we all know how hostile to females the portscasters environement is. If ever there was a boy's club beside the Armed Forces, that's one. So on one hand you have a slip of the tongue, on the other you have a concerted opportunistic decision.
I'm glad that it is the editor who got fired.[/b]

Possibly, but unwise to underestimate profit driven opportunism in the form of shocking and crude mag covers to generate sales and thus increase advertisement revenue.

Slumberjack

But then again, portrayals of a noose didn't generate that much ado when one was repeatedly and widely distributed through the MSM while Saddam was wearing one.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Slumberjack:
[b]But then again, portrayals of a noose didn't generate that much ado when one was repeatedly and widely distributed through the MSM while Saddam was wearing one.[/b]

As much as I hate your posts, that was good.

Now, c'mon, join the dark side.

[img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 18 January 2008: Message edited by: RevolutionPlease ]

Slumberjack

quote:


Originally posted by RevolutionPlease:
[b]

As much as I hate your posts, that was good.
Now, c'mon, join the dark side.
[img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]
[ 18 January 2008: Message edited by: RevolutionPlease ][/b]


Hate's a strong word, and i've been on the dark side for awhile...doing much better now too. Regarding the posts, not much point in debate if everyone is piling onto the same bandwagon. Shades of variance is ok too as long as they travel in the same general direction.