Tiger Woods says Steve Williams is "certainly not a racist"

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Tiger Woods says Steve Williams is "certainly not a racist"

Post  Mr007 on Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:45 pm

Tiger Woods and his former caddy Steve Williams Woods won 13 majors while Williams was his caddie

WARNING: This story contains language some may find offensive.

Tiger Woods has revealed he was hurt by Steve Williams's race comment but insisted his former caddie "is certainly not a racist".

Woods added: "It was a wrong thing to say. We're moving forward. It was hurtful certainly, but life goes forward.

"It is a comment that shouldn't have been made and he certainly wishes he didn't make it."

Woods said he had spoken to Williams about the remark, but declined to reveal exactly what they discussed.

"We talked about it this morning, we met face-to-face, we talked it through and we have agreed it was the wrong thing to say," former world number one Woods said.

"He did apologise."
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* Masters: 2001, 2002, 2005
* US Open: 2000, 2002, 2008
* Open: 2000, 2005, 2006
* US PGA: 1999, 2000, 2006, 2007

Woods said he had "no doubts" in his belief that Williams did not hold racist views.

The caddie has apologised for his remarks and European Tour chief George O'Grady and US PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem have decided to take no action.

Williams, who now carries Adam Scott's bag, made the comments when he was awarded a light-hearted accolade for "the best celebration of the year" at a dinner in Shanghai on Friday.

When he was asked to elaborate on his celebration when Scott won a world championship in August Williams said the aim was "to shove it right up that black arsehole".

Williams, who was sacked by Woods in July, apologised on Saturday. He said: "I now realise how my comments could be construed as racist. That was not my intent. I apologise to Tiger and anyone else I have offended."
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Iain Carter,
BBC golf correspondent

Why it took until after the tournament was completed for official condemnation to arrive is hard to fathom. An immediate response was required on Saturday morning to show that Williams's remarks were not acceptable

Read Iain Carter's blog

Williams later told Newstalk ZB radio station in his home country of New Zealand that his comment had been "blown out of all proportion".

He said: "It was kind of like a locker room environment, everyone was having a good time.

"My comments were by no means the worst that were passed. There were a lot of profanities and other kinds of remarks but just because I make a remark regarding my former employee (sic) it gets blown out of all proportion. It's absolutely ridiculous.

"You make one comment in a room, having a bit of fun, how does that make you a racist?

"It's making a mountain out of a molehill and I'm not worried about it one bit.

"We live in a country that is a multicultural society. I don't think you can say anyone in New Zealand is racist. We live in a Maori culture which is a great culture and a there's a lot of island culture. That's so far offbeat it's a joke."

Williams caddied for Woods from 1999 until earlier this year and shared in 13 of the former world number one's 14 major victories. It is estimated he earned $12m (7.5m) working for Woods.

Woods was speaking about the incident for the first time at a press conference to discuss this week's Australian Open.

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