She suggested the only way to beat champion golfer Tiger Woods was to lynch him. It was of course a tongue-in-cheek remark, but it drew sharp protests in the US. With the result, Kelly Tilghman has now been suspended as TV presenter for two weeks.
During a discussion on the Golf Channel on the future prospects in the game, former British champion Nick Faldo suggested that "to take Tiger on, maybe they should just gang up for a while."
Advertisement"Lynch him in a back alley," Tilghman replied, laughing.
Looks like perfectly innocuous remark. But it caused furore nationwide. For lynching is found particularly offensive by black Americans and Tiger Woods is a black.
The white supremacist Ku Klux Klan regularly lynched its victims and hanging was the favoured form of execution used by slave owners.
Civil rights activist the Reverend Al Sharpton wanted Tilghman sacked for what he called an "insult to all blacks."
A spokesman for the Golf Channel, which recently signed a 15-year deal to cover U.S. professional golf, reacted quickly, saying, "While we believe Kelly's choice of words was inadvertent and that she did not intend them in an offensive manner, the words were hurtful and grossly inappropriate.
"Consequently, we have decided to suspend Kelly for two weeks."
It also said it was considering whether she should be fired from her £150,000-a-year job.
The 37-year-old Tilghman, herself a former golf professional, is the Golf Channel's first female presenter and her pairing with Faldo is widely seen as a success.
She and Woods have known each other for 12 years, and he recently chose her to host a demonstration of new clubs endorsed by him near his home in Florida.
Woods has made no comment on the affair, but his agent moved to try to settle the dispute.
Mark Steinberg said: "Tiger and Kelly are friends, and Tiger has a great deal of respect for Kelly.
"Regardless of the choice of words used, we know unequivocally that there was no ill-intent in her comments."
He said they considered the matter closed.
But whether the channel too would do so remains to be seen.
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