Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman apologized on the air Thursday for her now infamous “lynch” remark, but the controversy gained new life when the football legend Jim Brown criticized Tiger Woods for his response to the incident.
Tilghman returned to her anchor position after the network suspended her for two weeks. The first few seconds of Tilghman’s prepared statement at the Buick Invitational were not audiable because of a technical problem. However, Tilghman said she understood why people were upset at her remarks and was “terribly sorry.” She added that she did not mean to offend anyone. At the conclusion of her brief statement, The Golf Channel cut to a live shot of Tiger Woods, and the broadcast went forward without another mention of the incident by either Tilghman or her co-anchor, Nick Faldo.
Brown, the former Cleveland Browns running back known for his political activism, said in an interview with ESPN’s First Take that Woods had a responsibility as an African American to speak up sooner.
“Tiger does have a responsibility despite what he says,” Brown said. “He waited until it was politically correct to come out, and he should have come out right away. The word lynch is a very particular word, and there is no redeeming quality to it. So when you say ‘lynch’ you’re going to have to pay a price because that particular legacy is a very embarrassing and humiliating one.”
On Wednesday, Woods said Tilghman meant no harm and that he regards the issue as closed.
The story began during the Golf Channel’s broadcast on Jan. 4 when Faldo joked that the young players of the PGA Tour may have to gang up on Woods to compete with him. Tilghman agreed and suggested with a laugh that Tiger’s young rivals “lynch him in a back alley.” Last week, Golfweek ran an image of a noose on its cover, a decision that led to the firing of the magazine’s editor.