In 1997, golfer Fuzzy Zoeller suggested that Tiger Woods would have everyone eat fried chicken and collard greens for the champion’s dish at the post-Masters dinner. Well, Zoeller didn’t eat fried chicken or collard greens. Rather, he at his words. He was vilified in the public eye, lost a million-dollar sponsorship and will be forever remembered for making such a comment. Neither did Zoeller know that the man he made fun of would make mince-meat of him as a professional golfer.
What did Tiger — who happens to be of color — make of it? Nothing. He ignored it and went on to enjoy his first of, what was destined to be, many major championships. By doing so, Zoeller’s ignorant remarks stood on their own. He had to live with them.
If similar comments were said of other well-known persons of color, we would have heard speeches about racial inequity and prejudice and divide. In Tiger’s case, he only needed to be better.
Rarely does one get the feeling that they live in an era of greatness. My respect for Tiger Woods is not only limited to his sport, I admire him as a human being, and as an American. …