NFL Hall of Famer says Tiger should have decried remark

Updated: January 24, 2008, 8:44 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NFL Hall of Fame player Jim Brown said Thursday that Tiger Woods should have spoken out against racially insensitive remarks made by a Golf Channel anchor that led to her two-week suspension from the airwaves.

Kelly Tilghman returned to the air Thursday for the Buick Invitational telecast following a two-week suspension for saying Woods' peers should "lynch" him in a back alley as a way of challenging his dominant play.

Appearing on ESPN First Take, Brown was asked whether Woods had a responsibility to speak out on certain issues, as an African-American, including the recent GolfWeek magazine cover that depicted a noose.

"He should have come out right away. Instead, he waited until it was politically correct [to comment]," Brown said. "The word 'lynch' ... there is no redeeming part of it.

The word 'lynch' ... there is no redeeming part of it. That is a very embarrassing word, a humiliating one, in the history of our country.

-- Jim Brown

"When you say lynch, you're gonna have to pay the price. That is a very embarrassing word, a humiliating one, in the history of our country."

Toward the end of the second round at the Mercedes-Benz Championship, Tilghman and analyst Nick Faldo were discussing possible challengers to Woods when Faldo suggested the players gang up on Woods.

"Lynch him in a back alley," Tilghman said, laughing.

Tilghman has since apologized on the air and personally to Woods and issued another on-air apology at the outset of Thursday's Golf Channel telecast.

"In a recent live broadcast, I used an inappropriate word that was offensive to many. Over the last two weeks I've taken the time to reflect and truly understand the impact of what I said,'' she said. "While I did not intend to offend anyone, I understand why those words were hurtful. I am terribly sorry for any hurt that I have caused. I would like to express my deepest apologies."

Golfweek magazine last week ran the image of a noose on the cover of its Jan. 19 issue to call attention to its coverage of the issue, and that decision led to the firing of editor Dave Seanor.

Woods initially accepted Tilghman's apology through his agent, Mark Steinberg, and called it a "non-issue." That prompted many commentators to suggest that Woods could have done more, as they wondered why he has not been more outspoken about social issues.

"I am socially active every day of my life," Woods said Wednesday from Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif., where is making his first start of the year at the Buick Invitational. "And that's with my foundation, what I try to do with kids."

Information from ESPN.com contributing writer Bob Harig was used in this report.

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