Sponsor Adidas Criticises Garcia Over Woods Jibe

by
Reuters
Sponsor Adidas has criticised Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia for a jibe directed at Tiger Woods that has drawn accusations of racism.

garcia

Sponsor Adidas has criticised Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia for a jibe directed at Tiger Woods that has drawn accusations of racism.

A repentant Garcia said "sorry" 11 times and used the word "apology" on five occasions on Wednesday when he told reporters of his regret at saying he planned to invite Woods to dinner and serve him "fried chicken".

Fried chicken has become a racial stereotype in the United States when referring to African-Americans - a reference to the days before the abolition of slavery when chicken was believed to be a staple part of the diet.

Golf equipment company TaylorMade, owned by German sportswear group Adidas, issued a strongly worded statement criticising Garcia and left the door open to taking further action against the world number 14.

"Sergio Garcia's recent comment was offensive and in no way aligns with TaylorMade-adidas Golf's values and corporate culture," the statement said.

"We discussed with Sergio that his comments are clearly out of bounds and we are continuing to review the matter," it added, saying it believed Garcia had been sincere in his apology.

Garcia told reporters on Wednesday that his comment, made at the European Tour Player of the Year awards the night before, was "stupid and out of place" and said he regretted it the moment he made it.

The relationship between the pair took a turn for the worse at the Players Championship earlier this month when Garcia blamed a roar from the crowd watching Woods for an errant shot that saw him lose the lead.

World number one Woods, whose relationship with the Spaniard is frosty at best, was in unforgiving mood on Wednesday.

"The comment that was made wasn't silly. It was wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate," the American said on his Twitter account.