"If that was Joe LaCava he wouldn't be caddying for me today," Couples said Saturday morning, heading to Harding Park for the third round of the Charles Schwab Cup.
LaCava is his former longtime caddie, now working for Woods. While noting he's never had a problem with Williams, Couples also added, "If (a caddie) has that kind of anger for a pretty good guy, I don't want him around me."
Scott Walker at Golf Channel suggests that the atmosphere in Shanghai and beyond may have led to a level of unacceptable comfort:
But Williams’ comments are only part of the issue. The fact that he felt comfortable enough to say such nonsense at that gathering will remind minorities of golf’s exclusive past, of proverbial smoke-filled rooms where decisions were made, and where many of us were absent. There is nothing wrong with having a private gathering where folks can have a good time at the end of a long year. There is something wrong when one of the attendees considered it the perfect time and setting to say what Williams did. Thankfully, enough people in that room decided what transpired there should not remain hidden. But it was a reminder that of the anxiety that comes with the question, “What do they say about us when we are not around?”
Farrell Evans wasn't too impressed with Stevie's apology.
This apology reminds me of some of the mea culpas delivered by southern whites and even some northerners over the years. One hot Sunday afternoon in Mississippi Delta comes to mind. A middle-aged black woman argues with a white convenience store owner after he called her teenage son a boy.
"I didn't mean nothing by it," the man said.
"If you didn't mean nothing by it then why did you say it?" said the woman.
The woman's question is one that Steve Williams should ponder for a while.
Jason Sobel says the decision to fire Williams is a "personal issue" between Williams and Adam Scott.
Already some media outlets are calling for Scott to immediately discontinue his looper’s employment. That’s a personal issue between them, but this news hits home as a personal issue between Williams and every single person who takes offense to this overture.
Intended or not, Williams’ comment contained inauspicious implications. If he wants to refer to a former boss and friend with a derogatory term, that’s well within his right. When he uses a racial adjective, it becomes a hurtful comment on multiple levels.
Plainly he has now crossed the line between natural-born arrogance and an untenable belief in his ability to behave as bizarrely as he chooses. Racism, as course as any known in the bad old days, is the killing charge. The cause is rather more mundane. It is the consequence of unchecked stupidity.
Does "off-the-record" confer immunity for every Tom, Dick or Harry to say whatever he likes about whom ever he likes in whatever offensive manner he so wishes? Of course not.
That Williams was guilty of revealing an ugly truth about himself, unwittingly or otherwise, is beyond doubt. So is the punishment he should have faced. He should have gone. From the Champions event in China. From his lucrative employment with the Australian golfer Adam Scott. From the sport of golf. For good.
That none of these things had happened by the evening after the night before speaks eloquently about the cravenness and cowardice of the self-regarding, self-perpetuating, self-enriching administrators who claim to have the best interests of golf at heart.
Garry Smits explains the jurisdiction the PGA Tour has here and feels they need to suspend Williams to prevent the Presidents Cup from being overshadowed by the Tiger-Stevie reunion.
Later this month, the Presidents Cup will be played in Australia for only the second time. Scott is on the International team. This is the PGA Tour's international match play event. Wouldn't it detract and distract from the event and what it means to Australian golf to have Williams walking the fairways every day?
If Scott won't take action, and is as clueless as he seems as to the implications of Williams' comments, the Tour might have to.
Steve Elling suggests that might already be in the works, but because of the tour's policy of not disclosing fines and suspensions, we don't know.
As ever, PGA Tour communications chief Ty Votaw on Saturday offered no illumination relating to possible pending disciplinary action: “We will have no comment publicly on this matter. The tour does have the ability to discipline caddies of its members.”
Later Saturday, Votaw followed up thusly, implying some action might be forthcoming: "By the way, the fact that we don't have a comment on this at this time, that does not mean we will not have one in the future. Just wanted to make that clarification." Scott shouldn't wait for the tour to do his dirty work for him.
Count me among the offended. Sorry, Stevie. Apology not accepted.
It's your right to hate Tiger for firing you. It's even your right to slap him around verbally if he allows it, although, I would probably be a little more gracious to the person who made me rich and secured my family beyond my wildest dreams. However, it is an egregious error to broadside your former boss with a racial slur under any circumstance even in jest. As I've written many times, a racial slur is only amusing to the person not on the butt end of it. They should not be tolerated, period.
What is most disappointing is that you have probably shared more congenial conversations with me over the years than with any other media type. I enjoyed the horseplay and needling. The word play, however, comes from an ugly place and is totally unacceptable.