Philadelphia, PA – To exactly no one's surprise, everyone in a position to take a significant stand against Steve Williams' racist comments, has hidden behind incomprehensible excuses and pathetic reasoning.
We all know what Williams said and now anyone with a chance at impacting this man's life in the negative way, the way he's impacting other's lives, took what they believed to be the high road.
Let's first start with his boss, Adam Scott.
He rattled off every excuse in the book to keep Williams employed.
"I think everything in that room last night was all in good spirits and for a bit of fun, and I think it probably got taken out of that room in the wrong context," Scott said after Saturday's third round of the HSBC Champions.
We should keep a more open mind in the context of racist claims.
I was not in that room, but one has to wonder how you can question the context of the remarks. One word, "black" changed Williams' comments from a funny jab at his ex-boss, to a disgusting joke gone awry.
But the context is what we all missed? What was the context? Was it anything goes hour? Be a racist for a minute happy hour? It's fairly puzzling that a defense can be made of the fact that, save for the people in that ballroom, we couldn't understand what he meant.
We're all fairly smart people. Seems like the context of the statement had something to do with the fact that one guy made silly comments about a boss, who is, in part, African-American, and also a boss who amassed this guy a staggering savings account.
The people in that room then wanted Williams to elaborate and he did. They wanted him to take another shot at Tiger, and that's what the gallery got. Only this time, the shot was way past the line of basic human decency.
"Those things are not meant to go past that room, but, you know, obviously somebody took it out and that's the way it goes. There's really no safe haven for what you say, and so you've got to be careful," Scott also said the day after the incident.
This argument makes the whole "context" debate look brilliant.
Granted, events like this are off-the-record, but the venom toward the reporter who reported it boggles my mind. Where is the priority here? Scott wasn't the only player/person involved to bring up this whole theory that Williams believing what he said wouldn't be reported was some kind of excuse.
Only one question can be asked, does that mean it's alright to be racist if you assume you're off-the-record?
These sentiments almost ring of something like, "Stevie would never say that if he knew he was on the record." Problem is, Stevie shouldn't say those things whether Woodward and Bernstein themselves have microphones in his face, or as Greg Norman said, "it was like any of us sitting around a bar with 10 or 15 of your mates."
Scott had every opportunity to do the right thing and fire Williams on the spot. He didn't. He's sticking by his man and drawing a line in the sand, daring anyone to cross it.
When a reporter showed the unmitigated temerity to ask Scott "what would you say to those people that by doing nothing, you are condoning racism, a racist statement, what would you say to that answer?" Scott took a second and said, "I don't think digging for a story out of me on this is a good idea."
Don't get angry at the media for a second on this, Mr. Scott. The reporter asked a valid, necessary question and you've got no answer. No one is "digging" for a story out Scott, his caddy took care of that one with little prompting.
What most people is an explanation to that very question and the reality is, Scott wants to keep around a good caddy when most would've showed him the door long ago.
After Williams' misguided celebration to Scott's win in Akron, that might have been enough. For the fifth time in this space, when you constantly have to answer questions about your caddy, he's become a problem.
Scott said it was not a distraction for him, but he shot a 73 on Sunday and fell into a tie for 11th in Shanghai. Only Scott knows for sure, but would anyone enjoy being peppered with questions for two days about your ignorant caddy?
Scott is the only guy who can fire Williams. In fact, only one player has gone on the record and said he'd have fired Williams and that was Fred Couples.
"If that was Joe LaCava he wouldn't be caddying for me today," Couples said Saturday, according to Golf World, but reported by Golf Channel.
Now Couples is in a position to make some change. With the Presidents Cup next week and Scott and Woods on opposite sides, Couples is Woods' captain and based on the format where captains can determine who plays against who, Couples can do his best to avoid Scott and Woods in the same match.
Another body that could've shown some guts in this was the tour, either PGA or European. A joint statement from Tim Finchem of the PGA Tour and George O'Grady of the European Tour swept it under the rug.
"The International Federation of PGA Tours feels strongly there is no place for any form of racism in ours or any other sport. We consider the remarks of Steve Williams, as reported, entirely unacceptable in whatever context. We are aware that he has apologized fully and we trust we will not hear such remarks ever again. Based on this, we consider the matter closed, and we will have no further comment."
If that's how you feel about racism then do something. Fine him, suspend him, hell even ban him for a period of time. The governing bodies did nothing and in being cowards effectively said, "do racist things, it doesn't matter to us."
Williams has been involved in so many incidents over the years. Enough is enough. Get him away from the sport. Not believing you're on the record is an excuse for this kind of behavior.
Someone needed to step up and show golf, a sport tainted for years by racism, that it wouldn't be tolerated.
No one did and no one is surprised.