In defending Garcia, Euro Tour CEO uses racially insensitive word

Sergio Garcia emerges from a meeting in the rules office with George O'Grady, CEO of the European Tour on Wednesday.

Sergio Garcia emerges from a meeting in the rules office with George O'Grady, CEO of the European Tour on Wednesday.

VIRGINIA WATER, England -- Just when European Tour chief executive George O’Grady thought a golf tournament had broken out, he found himself at the center of yet another controversy in the European Tour’s flagship BMW PGA Championship after using an inappropriate word in an interview with Sky Sports.

Responding to Sergio Garcia’s apology to Tiger Woods, O'Grady tried to defuse the situation. However, he used the racially insensitive term "colored."

“We accept all races on the European Tour – most of Sergio's friends happen to be colored athletes,” O’Grady said.

The Euro Tour chief was forced to issue an apology for his comments: “I deeply regret using an inappropriate word in a live interview for Sky Sports for which I unreservedly apologize.”

O’Grady must have wished the flames of controversy over Garcia's ill-advised quip about serving Tiger Woods fried chicken had died down when play began this morning.

Garcia got a warm reception on the first tee when he began his opening round in the company countryman Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and defending champion Luke Donald.

Garcia was blithely going about his business on the golf course when O’Grady spoke to Sky Sports. News of the chief executive’s comment soon filtered around the pressroom, and it became clear he was ready to make headlines in the next day’s newspapers. Hence the hasty, if short, apology.

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