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PREVIOUS SPORTS
• Sideline: Yes, Non–Conference Games DO Count
• NCAA Preview 2009
• Sideline: Time For The Talking To Stop
• Sideline: In Memory of Air McNair
• Sideline: Will Goodell Hand Out Hard Time?
• Sideline: Marshall's Not Joshing
• NFL Draft: No Rush To Judgment
• NFL Draft Analysis 2009 (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts
• Sideline: Will Play For Food
• Sideline: Wonderlic Scores
• Sideline: Manning and Sanchez
• Sideline: 2010 Leagues Sci–fi, or Fantasy? / March Madness
• Sideline: Break Out The Brackets
• Sideline: LaDainian Tomlinson On The Record
• Sideline: The Incredible Sulk Continues
• Sideline: Guildford Heat Fired Up
• Sideline: Super Bowl thoughts from the Valley of the Sun
• Sideline: I know I came in here for something
• Sideline: College Football National Signing Day
• Sideline: 27 Points — 27 Super Bowl thoughts
• Sideline: An Epic QB Matchup?
• Sideline: Appreciating Arizona for What They Were
• Sideline: NFL Divisional Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Bowl Season Hangover
• Sideline: Six weeks Later
• Sideline: Wildcard Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Santa's Sackings
• Sideline: A Weis Decision ...for Now
• Sideline: Eye on the Ticker
• Sideline: Lions — An Anagram of Losin
• Sideline: Ready for the Turkey
• Sideline: Making it to the Big Dance
• Sideline: Brighter Days Ahead for Chargers?
• Sideline: Unnecessary Hits To The Pocket / Upset: BYU
• Sideline: Romo's Pause / Seattle Seahawks
• Sideline: Weekend Prep: Red River and More
• Sideline: College Football's 'Crossroads' Weekend
• Sideline: Gramatical Error
• Sideline: Turning The Page
• Sideline: So Cal 'Quizzed
• Sideline: 3rd Tuesday Panic / Forté Yard Dash
• Sideline: Two and Oh; Oh and Two
• Sideline: No More NCAAffeine
• Sideline: Week 1 College Football
• Sideline: How To Spell Heisman / Chad Ocho Cinco
• Sideline: A Second Slice
• Sideline: The Favre story STILL won't go away
• Sideline: Olympic Notes / Ricky's Still Relevant
• Sideline: Committee Meetings
• Sideline: Let the QB Battles Begin
• Sideline: Slinging The Slinger — More Favre
• Interview: Clint Dempsey
• Sideline: Welcome to the 2008 season
• Sideline: Plus One
• 2008 NFL Draft Review
• Sideline: Draft: The Morning After
• Sideline: Draft: Thinking the Unthinkable
• Sideline: Draft: Ready For The Long Haul
• Sideline: Sofa–bound Sport
• Sideline: Post–Winter Wonderland
• Sideline: Six Impossible Things
• Sideline: Brady's Misdirection Play
• Sideline: Colorful Language
• Sideline: Let the Romo–bashing begin
• Sideline: Bowl Bites: The Wrap
• Sideline: All About The Coaches
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 3
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 2
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 1
• Sideline: Coach Situations Vacant
• Sideline: For Some, The Playoffs Are Now
• Sideline: A Certain Lack Of Welcome
• Sideline: Unrelated Notes
• Sideline: Two Thanksgiving thoughts
• Sideline: Halftime: NFC
• Sideline: Halftime: AFC
• Sideline: London / A Tale of Two Chads / Intimidation
• Sideline: Damp Squib / Other London Notes
• Sideline: Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em / Dolphins – The Aftermath
• Sideline: The Dolphins Did What?
• Sideline: Notes on the Defenses
• Sideline: Habits to be Broken
• Sideline: Overtime
• Sideline: This Week's Starters
• Sideline: USF: Covering The Spread / Fantastic Football
• Sideline: Grossman: The Final Act? / McNabb, the Epilogue
• Sideline: Eagles QB in Slight Controversy
• Sideline: Leftwich's Parting Gift / Boos cruise
• Sideline: Notre Dame M.I.A.
• Sideline: Looking Beyond NFL Wk. 1
• Sideline: Best Hope For Heisman
• Sideline: Coaching Hot Seats / AP Poll Feeling ’Appy
• Sideline: The NFL’s Prime Cuts
• Sideline: Michigan Falls to Killer Apps
• Sideline: Look Out Couch / The Taint's On You, Bud
SPORTS

SIDELINE
Observations, Opinion & Occasional Silliness by Richard L Gale

Colorful Language
January 23, 2008

Around this time of year, when the football schedule becomes a little more sparse, I cast a glance over the gridiron parapet to see what's happening with the rest of the sporting world. Not that I'm unaware of NBA standings, a new college basketball poll–topper or upsets in the Australian Open — it's more the other stories and controversies that swirl in place for weeks on end like self–perpetuating twisters. One that seems to have obsessed professional golf this past month is the controversy surrounding comments by Kelly Tilghman on the Golf Channel.

Tiger Woods has now commented on the incident for the first time, bringing the story to a close.

For any American sports fans who've been living somewhere else for a while, Tilghman made an offhand comment during an on–air chat with Nick Faldo, when Faldo suggested that younger players should gang up on Woods. 'Lynch him in a back alley' added Tilghman, perhaps taking Faldo's 'gang up' phrase in a direction Faldo hadn't remotely intended. Cue the media explosion and several apologies.

I must admit, as a Brit, I was caught a little off–guard by the scale of the reaction. I took it as it was probably intended: a throwaway exaggeration of faintly comic intent, conjuring the image of a bunch of golfers merely waylaying a master they can only be jealous of. For me, the word 'lynch' carried none of the race hate connotations it does in the US. If Faldo had made the comment, it might have been more understandable. As it was, it was just clumsy.

The outrage that followed was compounded a hundredfold by Golfweek magazine's subsequent cover of a swinging noose. Even if the noose was intended for the Golf Channel rather than Tiger, the insensitivity of that artistic decision cost editor Dave Seanor his job. Tilghman herself served out a two week suspension. While the media fed upon itself like a swarm of injured piranha, Tiger Woods' agent was calling the original incident a 'non–story'. 20 days after Tilghman's original comments, Tiger has spoken publicly for the first time about the furor. "It was unfortunate," he said, "Kelly and I did speak. There was no ill intent, so in my eyes it's all said and done."

Kelly Tilghman, like Tiger Woods, returns to work at Thursday's Buick International.

It would seem that Golf just had it's 'little monkey' incident. Back in 1983, then–presenter of Monday Night Football Howard Cosell commented of Washington receiver Alvin Garrett, "look at that little monkey go". Many perceived Cosell's comment as a racial slur against Garrett, who is of African American heritage, although those that knew Cosell pointed out that Howard often referred to small, quick players with this term, as he did with his own grandchildren, and as he had some years earlier in reference to Caucasian player Mike Adamle. None the less, that was Cosell's final season of his legendary time in the MNF booth.

What I find sad in this latest incident is the context within which the word 'lynch' was received. It relies on the premise that such a word (however tactlessly used) was intended in the context of incidents of racial hatred. That one publication headed straight for an image of a noose staggers me. For the controversy to have legs, some reports referred to Tiger Woods as 'black', and I find great unease in that too.

Tiger Woods' mother is of Thai, Chinese and Dutch ancestry. His father was of African American, Chinese and Native American ancestry. Woods is arguably one quarter African American, but one half Asian. Tiger Woods has referred to himself as 'Cablinasian' (Caucasian, Black, American–Indian, Asian), and is under more conventional terms 'multi–racial'. So when the media chooses to define Tiger Woods as 'black', there's little reason for that than a judgment call on the darkness of his skin and the convenience of inserting him into a controversy that relies on being selective about his racial ancestry. That in itself is a nasty reflection of race perceptions, of the definition of 'non–white' as 'black'.

And I find it simply astonishing that the US media can be this sensitive to race issues while, back in football–land, the Washington team Alvin Garrett once played for is STILL called the 'Redskins' without equivalent and sustained outrage.



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