‘Lynch’ Remark Costs Tilghman

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OFFENSIVE OR NOT? | Comment leads to suspension

Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman, who played her collegiate golf at Duke, is in the middle of a two-week suspension following her comment that Tiger Woods should be lynched by players wanting to challenge him.

She made the remark – “Lynch him in a back alley” – during an exchange with analyst Nick Faldo (pictured above) during a Golf Channel telecast a week ago Friday. She’s since apologized for the remark and there have been the prerequisite attacks by Al Sharpton and the like. The Golf Channel said there is “simply no place on our network for offensive language like this,” and Tiger’s agent made a statement that Tilghman and Woods were friends, that there was no ill-intent on Tilghman’s part and it was a “non-issue.”

The case is closed and it should be. No question “lynch” was a questionable choice of words. There’s also no question Tilghman made the remark out of reverance for Woods’ domination of the sport of golf for the last 10 years. He’s simply the best golfer ever, and could very well end up being considered the best athlete of his sport in all of history. What Jacksonville Jaguars fan hasn’t thought this week about how easier it would be for the Jags in their game tonight against the New England Patriots if somehow Tom Brady was removed from the Pats’ lineup? Tilghman’s remark was no more threatening than a thought like that, but her choice of words was problematic. Her suspension was a bit severe in my mind, but something signficant was appropriate.

A couple of years ago, I read the fascinating book “At the Hands of Persons Unknown,” Phillip Dray’s incredible history of the lynching of blacks in America from post-Civil War until the early 1950s. It’s sobering reading. But Tilghman deserves a break, and it would best come from a statement from Tiger himself, whose handlers no doubt are asking him to stay out of the fray.

For a look at a roundup of stories and columns about this incident, click here to be directed to the golf.com site.

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