09 January 2008

In All Fairness, Kelly Must Be Fired

I don't know two things about Kelly Tilghman. But the one thing I do know -- is that she must be fired. I did not say (nor do I believe) that she should be fired. Nonetheless, she should be updating her resume.

Tilghman (as I have learned) is an anchor for the Golf Channel. During an interview on Friday, her guest suggested young golfers needed to team up against Tiger Woods (news, pics) if they were to ever have hopes of beating him. With that statement (and sentiment out there), Tilghman said Tiger Woods should be lynched. It was obvious she wasn't being literal. She's apologized profusely. Tiger Woods himself has called it a non-issue, saying he's known Tilghman for years, and that he knows she meant no harm. It was an admitted mistake, and she's probably genuinely sorry. I doubt it will enough to save her job.

Kelly Tilghman is the Don Imus of 2008. Yes, there are differences between them and they all work against Tilghman. She doesn't have a following near the size of Imus'. She doesn't have the name recognition. She doesn't have the history of philanthropy. She's not in a position where she can make her own rules and live by them. She's a woman in the world of sports.

Add to that, Imus implied bad hair & promiscuity. Tilghman suggested a lawless execution, reserved throughout American history for one group of people -- to which Tilghman does not belong. On paper, there's no question Kelly Tilghman must go.

No, it's probably not the right thing to do. We all make slips of the tongue and we all make bad decisions. No one's perfect. She's in a tougher spot than most of us, because she's watched and recorded and critiqued and judged every day that she goes to work. She (like Don Imus) just made a mistake. But as big as this country gets, there's still a "lynch mob" mentality. Letters and emails are probably flying into the Golf Channel, calling Tilghman a racist, and demanding she be fired. And since the example has already been set, they'll probably get their way.