World Golf Hall of Famer Colin Montgomerie says the furor over Sergio Garcia’s “fried chicken” remark is being overblown.
“It's a mountain out of a molehill, to be honest, totally,' Montgomerie was quoted telling the Associated Press after his round Friday at the BMW Championship in Wentworth. “I hope it hasn't taken away from the BMW who have set up a fantastic tournament.”
Montgomerie came to the defense of Garcia, whose feud with Tiger Woods erupted anew Tuesday over Garcia’s “fried chicken” remark, and European Tour chief executive George O’Grady, who inflamed the situation saying most of Garcia’s friends in the United States are “colored athletes.”
“Now we've got the chief executive involved in the whole thing having to say sorry,' Montgomerie said. “We're all frightened to say anything; we're frightened to open our mouths in case we say something that isn't kosher in 2013. Somebody should tell us what to say because no one is quite sure what is right and wrong.”
Here’s the rest of what Montgomerie was quoted saying:
“George says colored, somebody says black, but who is to say who is right and wrong, and for the chief executive who is a very educated man to get caught up then we need to decide what we can and can't say and move on quickly . . .
“I feel for Garcia, but then that's me condoning it. I am not allowed to feel sorry for him. But we are a family here on the European Tour, a close family unit, and we stand up for each other. I've played a lot of Ryder Cups with Sergio and we are a very close family and we should remain that way. This shouldn't affect us . . .
“If I get asked at the next press conference I'll have to say, 'Sorry, no comment' and hope that is not offending anybody. You just can't say a thing, can you? It's a shame, it's a pity. The three 'no-no's' are race, religion and politics, and you are going to upset someone along the line if you mention any of them. It's time to move on and talk about golf.”