INDIANAPOLIS -- Fuzzy Zoeller says he's "paid his dues"
after his infamous remarks about Tiger Woods ordering fried chicken
for the Masters champions' dinner, and believes similar comments
made by Sergio Garcia will eventually blow over.
Garcia has apologized to Woods after saying at a recent awards
dinner in London that he would serve fried chicken if the two
rivals had dinner at the U.S. Open. Garcia called it a "silly
remark," adding that "in no way was the comment meant in a racist
Still, the comment brought up the stereotype of simple-minded
blacks obsessed with chicken and watermelon -- a stereotype that
dates back more than a century.
It also brought back memories of a similar comment that Zoeller
made during the 1997 Masters, when Woods was romping to victory.
Himself a former champion, Zoeller said on camera that he hoped
Woods wouldn't order fried chicken for the dinner honoring past
champions the following year.
"Mine was a joke that went bad. What the hell, I paid my
dues," Zoeller said at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where his
company is sponsoring the pole-winning car that will be driven by
Ed Carpenter in Sunday's race.
While some people still recall his infamous comments, Zoeller
said they're well in the past.
As for Garcia and Woods.
"I don't know. They've had feuds before. It's just the way it
is. That's sports," Zoeller said. "There's going to be feuds here
this week sometime (at Indianapolis). Someone will get in (a disagreement) out here. Some you'll hear about, some you won't."
Woods and Garcia have had a tumultuous couple of weeks, dating
to the third round of The Players Championship, when Garcia implied
that Woods purposely stirred up the gallery as the Spaniard was
playing a shot. Woods said it was not surprising that Garcia was
"It'll all blow over," Zoeller said, they'll "be fine."