Williams not racist, has apologized for 'hurtful' racial slur, says Woods

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During his news conference, Tiger Woods said it was not up to him to call for sanctions against former caddie Steve Williams.
By
PGA.com news services

Series: Other Tour

Tiger Woods says he received an apology from former caddie Steve Williams over a racial slur when the two met and shook hands Tuesday.

"We talked this morning, we met face to face and talked about it, talked it through," Woods said, ahead of the Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Club.

Williams' disparaging comment came during a caddies' awards party Friday in Shanghai.

"It was a wrong thing to say, something that we both acknowledge," Woods said. "He did apologize. It was hurtful, certainly, but life goes forward."

Woods said it was not up to him to call for sanctions against Williams. The PGA Tour and European Tour have said no action would be taken against Williams for the comment.

"Stevie's certainly not a racist," Woods said Tuesday. "There's no doubt about that. It was a comment that shouldn't have been made and was certainly one that he wished he didn't make."

He was asked how two people so close together for more than a decade -- Williams was with Woods for 13 of his 14 majors over 13 years -- could become so distant so quickly. Woods fired Williams in July.

"That's a great question, I don't know that one," Woods said. "For me personally it was a tough decision to make to go in a different direction in my personal life, but as far as personally, I don't know how it could have happened the way it did. But it just did and here we are.

"It's just one of those things where we'll see what time does and as we all know, time does heal wounds."

Asked for the source of the animosity between them, Woods said: "That's between Stevie and me. We talked it through, and we'll leave it at that."

On Monday, Greg Norman called Williams' comment stupid, but also said he felt the New Zealand caddie was not a racist.

"We've all made stupid comments at stupid times, unfortunately his stupid comment became global news," Norman said. "I know he probably regrets saying it, but I guarantee you in that room on that night there was probably some heavier things said."

Adam Scott, who employs Williams full time, said in a statement that he believes "there is absolutely no room for racial discrimination in any walk of life, including the game of golf."

"I have discussed this matter directly with Steve and he understands and supports my view on this subject. I also accept Steve's apology, knowing that he meant no racial slur with his comments. I now consider the matter closed. I will not be making any further comment."

Woods and Scott are playing in the Australian Open, which has attracted a strong field due to the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne next week.

Norman said any feud between Woods and Williams needs to be sorted out.

"Because of the temperature that was going on between the two of them, anything that is said or not said is going to exacerbate whatever that feeling is," Norman said.

"I hope it gets resolved. Golf doesn't need it. Golf needs Tiger back playing great golf like he used to. Golf needs the cohesiveness that's always existed."

On Tuesday, Woods said he is injury-free for the first time in months, allowing him to practice at an accelerated rate.

"My bad rounds need to be under par, not over par," Woods said. "That's something I haven't done through this stretch."

That stretch is a victory drought of nearly two years -- his last win on any tour was at the Australian Masters in November 2009.

On Monday, Woods said "I've had a ruptured ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), I've had a broken leg, a torn Achilles, and strained ligaments over the last five years. I've been rehabbing for so long I haven't been able to train."

 


Comments

kswiger

If he said it then he is a racist and the PGA needs to remove him from the tour.
If John Daly gets uninvited for acting like a baby (see below) why then does Williams get a pass? It is not what I thought the organization had become - was I wrong?

"Tour officials sounded as though they had seen enough. Brian Thorburn, chief executive of the PGA of Australia, said it was withdrawing its invitation for Daly to play in the Australian PGA in two weeks at Coolum."

“The PGA does not need this kind of behavior tarnishing the achievements of other players and the reputation of our tournaments,” Thorburn said in a statement. “John is not welcome at Coolum.”

janet.m.ramos

I would like to say it is regretfull what Steve Williams did, I have been a golf fan for 35 years, thru all the years i have never heard anything so ugly come from the mouth of a caddie, Steve Williams made millions being the caddie for Mr Woods, how they left each other is another story, but I do not recall Mr Woods saying anything bad about Steve Williams, So for me the game of golf has always been a gentleman's game, but on that day..Steve Williams was NO gentleman.

fdshea

How many people remain buxom buddies with a boss who doesn't have the class to even call you and give you a reason for being fired. I think most people would use even a little stronger language. Guess who gets the pass though.

infoservinc

If anyone thinks SW is not a racist I will sell you some ocean front property in Denver real cheap.

He is also never going to be compared with a phi beta kappa. His mouth starts 30 minutes before his brain.