Bishop expresses remorse, recounts removal timeline

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Ted Bishop expressed remorse over the social media comments that led to his demise while speaking on-air Tuesday for the first time since his removal as PGA president. 

"I really regret, like you can't imagine, what I did and what I said, particularly the implication that came out of it," Bishop told Gary Williams on "Morning Drive."

The controversy surrounding Bishop began Thursday with comments on Twitter and Facebook about Ian Poulter, calling the Englishman a "Lil Girl" after Poulter made comments about Nick Faldo in his recently-released autobiography. Bishop explained that he was also sensitive to comments made about U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson, including some from Poulter.

"I think what I was really trying to say was, 'Why don't we all grow up?'" he said. "I'm just old-school from the standpoint that I think icons in the game should be treated with a certain amount of reverence, and I felt like that didn't happen necessarily with Tom after the Ryder Cup, and it wasn't happening with Nick then."

Bishop explained that emotions for him had been "building up" since the American loss at Gleneagles last month, but he added that it was "absolutely no excuse" for his comments.

"I've got to know my position as the president of the PGA of America, and I can't be a fan of golf," he said. "I can't be Ted Bishop and have personal opinions on this subject, but obviously that's what happened."


Video: Bishop discusses tweet, ouster on "Morning Drive"


Bishop also shed light on the timeline that led to his removal. Conversations and emails with both PGA of America spokesperson Julius Mason and PGA CEO Pete Bevacqua in the hours following his comments led Bishop to believe that the controversy might soon blow over, but when Mason sent him a short statement to approve for release, Bishop was concerned about the lack of remorse it offered.

"It was not in my words and it was not apologetic in any way, shape or form," he said. "But it kind of fit the tone of the conversation that we had had an hour and a half ago, that maybe this wasn't really that big of a deal."

Bishop then offered a statement to The Associated Press, which he made in line with the statement released by the PGA on his behalf and which he admitted in hindsight was a "huge mistake."

"I should have just apologized right from the get-go," he said.

By Friday morning, Bishop's communication with the PGA became entirely one-sided, as multiple texts to Mason went unanswered. It was at that point that Bishop first began to feel like his job might be in jeopardy.

"I said to Julius, 'The longer we wait, the worse this gets.' Unfortunately I never heard anything from the PGA of America," he said. "I think you get to a point a couple hours when you're into it and you're getting no communication from anybody, that you know you're in trouble."

Once Bishop was summoned for a Friday afternoon conference call by PGA vice president Derek Sprague, now the organization's interim president, he knew his time was drawing near.

"The silence was deafening," he said. "At that point in time, I pretty much knew my fate was sealed."

Forced from his position and stripped of honors typically bestowed upon a past president, Bishop reiterated that he is ultimately responsible for the chain of events.

"I created this mess. It's my fault. It's not the PGA of America's fault, it's my fault," he said. "I don't think the punishment fits the crime, but it is what it is and I have to accept that, and I'm not bitter about that in any way, shape or form."