Golf is long known for its association with discrimination by the white Establishment. And it hasn't gone away. In May 2013, Sergio Garcia was asked about Tiger Woods and the heated rivalry between the two. A reporter asked if Garcia would invite Woods to dinner when they met at the Open the following month, and Garcia said he’d have him around every night for fried chicken. This is May 2013, not even a year ago, and shit like this is still be said as a "joke." Nothing learned from the Fuzzy Zoeller debacle.
I've have been following the saga of Michael Sam, who is attempting to become the first openly gay NFL player Lots of people are (a poll of both sports fans and pro football players found that 80% for each group didn't have a problem with an openly gay player). Apparently, so is Steve Elkington. Elkington is a 10-time PGA Tour winner and a PGA Championship victor. He is also an avid Twitter user.
Which means, he doesn't know when to shut up.
Elkington tweeted to his 60,000 followers, "ESPN reporting Michael Sam is leading the handbag throw at NFL combine...No one else expected to throw today."
The tweet has since been deleted. Not out of any sense of decency, mind you, but because, as Elkington told Yahoo Sports' Shane Bacon, "The [PGA] tour told me to." The PGA Tour said later, "Under our regulations, conduct unbecoming a professional includes public commentary that is clearly inappropriate or offensive. With respect to this matter, and consistent with our longstanding policy, we do not comment on player disciplinary matters." In other words, what punishment, if any, Elkington got for acting like a putz, we aren't telling.
Elkington promptly went on Twitter again to "clarify" his remarks. He wasn't making an outdated joke, he was making a satirical point. "ESPN covering Michael Sam as a gay athlete is embarrassing." "I'm for Sam I'm against ESPN telling me he's gay." Now, to be fair, Sam feels the same way, saying to reporters at the NFL combine, "I just wish you guys would just see me as Michael Sam the football player instead of Michael Sam the gay football player." However, I don't see how Elkington's "joke" makes that point, it appears to me to be making fun of Sam for being gay. Seriously, folks...I'm a professional comedy writer, I know this shit. Whether Elkington likes it or not, an openly gay athlete is a big deal because not only is this among the first, but this is football, where lots of players have said gays have no place there and they would bounty and target any of them. Risking your health, future, and quite possibly your life just to play football is a huge act of bravery. Goddamn right it deserves to be covered.
So, is Elkington a racist or just a douchebag? He didn't help himself by making the following tweet: "It goes back to 'a ball hit an oriental spectator'.There's no oriental spectators..There just spectators..'like m Sam...He's just an athlete (sic)." Uh, it's "Asians," not "Orientals," dude.
Some people never learn. And some simply refuse to.