8 Most Unintentionally Racist Moments (Pg. 5)
The Celebrity: Fuzzy Zoeller
The Slipup: After Tiger Woods became the first African-American golfer to win The Masters in 1997, fellow PGA Tour golfer Zoeller told reporters: “That little boy is driving well and he’s putting well. He’s doing everything it takes to win. So, you know what you guys do when he gets in there? You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year. Got it?…Or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve.”
The Reaction: Though he immediately apologized, Zoeller’s sponsors K-Mart and Dunlop dropped him after his comments managed to overshadow Woods’s historic win.
The Rating: 8 John Mayer Playboy interviews. The 1979 Masters champion quickly pointed out that, as the PGA Tour’s resident jokester, he was only kidding. Again, though, we weren’t laughing.
The Celebrity: John Wayne
The Slipup: During a 1971 Playboy interview, the actor said, “I believe in white supremacy until blacks are educated to a point of responsibility.”
The Reaction: Google “john wayne racist” and see how many “Is John Wayne racist?” posts pop up today. The legend lives on.
The Rating: 10 John Mayer Playboy interviews. Though the Western movie star and American icon probably thought he was making some valid points about the country’s education system, 90 percent of his Playboy interview sounded like transcripts straight out of a Klan meeting. Let this be a lesson, kids: Watch what you say and, um, don’t do interviews with Playboy. Okay?
What did you think when you first heard John Mayer’s comments from the Playboy interview? Have you ever stopped supporting a celebrity because of off-color remarks they’ve made? Do you think any of the people above should still be punished for their words? Drop a comment or hit us on Twitter at @VibeMagazine and let us know.