The Golfweek cover story on the Kelly Tilghman controversy is definitely legitimate since it became Golf’s biggest story and transcended the sport. However, the cover of a hangman’s noose is something that certainly fanned the flames especially when the controversy was beginning to die down.
Now, the cover has not only caught the eye of bloggers, journalists, but PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem who calls the cover “outrageous”.
Having read the story from Scott Hamilton on the Golfweek website, the content itself covers all angles and it’s very solid. In fact, an editorial from the Golfweek board explains why it chose to make the controversy its top story and that’s fine. The comments by Tilghman made news and deserved coverage by Golfweek.
But the cover of the noose (and I have chosen not to show it here, but you can see it on other sites) has brought the controversy back into the forefront. In fact, the choice of the noose rather than have Kelly on the cover has led to even more debate.
Golfweek wants to sell magazines, but putting a noose can only lead to negative results. Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News reports in his blog that PGA officials plan to meet with Golfweek today to talk about the cover.
Magazine editor David Seanor tells USA Today that the cover was meant to spur “intelligent dialogue”, but does it have to be a noose which has negative connotations to the African American community?
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wonders if the cover went too far. Bill Ordine of the Baltimore Sun says instead of spurring dialogue, the cover has spread the flames. The San Diego Union-Tribune says the magazine is courting controversy instead of covering it. Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel says Golfweek is making sure the controversy remains on the frontlines. Dan Shanoff blogging for The Sporting News says the cover was a play for attention (scroll down).
We’ll see what ramifications will come to Golfweek and its editor. This is only the beginning.