Sergio Garcia racism row rumbles on after George O’Grady gaffe
The fall-out from the Sergio Garcia racism furore continued to overshadow the start of the BMW PGA Championship thanks to a gaffe from the European Tour’s chief executive.
George O’Grady issued an unreserved apology for using the word ‘coloured’ when defending the Tour’s decision not to sanction Garcia for a controversial remark about Tiger Woods.
Garcia had issued his own apology 24 hours earlier for quipping that he would invite Woods, with whom he has traded barbs in the media recently, round for ‘fried chicken’ at the US Open.
O’Grady then put his foot in it, saying: ‘Most of Sergio’s friends happen to be coloured athletes in the United States, he is absolutely abject in his apology and we accepted it.’
O’Grady was then forced to apologise for using the phrase, which has slipped from common parlance because of its crude one-size-fits-all connotation.
‘I deeply regret using an inappropriate word in a live interview for which I unreservedly apologise,’ he said.
Garcia was cheered as he started his first round at Wentworth and was one under par after ten holes when play was suspended due to the threat of lightning.
It remains to be seen if the row will cost the Ryder Cup star financially, with sponsors TaylorMade-adidas saying they ‘are continuing to review the matter.’