Sunday 23 October 2016

Rachel Beresford: Ignoramus Montgomerie's leprechaun jibe at Rory McIlroy an insult to Irish people

Rachel Beresford

Published 09/07/2015 | 11:36

Rory McIlroy and right Lisa 'Kennedy' Montgomery
Rory McIlroy and right Lisa 'Kennedy' Montgomery

SOME of Lisa 'Kennedy' Montgomery's best friends are leprechauns, and they all have a great sense of humour.

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Well thank god for that, Ireland can move on now, there's nothing to see here.

Unless of course you missed Fox News reporter, Montgomery, calling Rory McIlroy a leprechaun.

"He's a leprechaun, I can't stand him", Montgomery was heard saying off camera.

The jibe from Montgomery was, at it's very best, insensitive and poorly thought out, but I didn't get too offended by it as, really, it just seemed to me to be a childish and unintelligent off-the-cuff remark. At its worst, however, I can see how her comment would have been gravely offensive to an entire nation.

I didn't feel that way, though, I really didn't - until yesterday, when Montgomery came out to explain the put-down of golf's world No.1 and one of Ireland's greatest ever sportsmen.

This, this is where I became infuriated.

The journalist said: "Yesterday at this time I used the word leprechaun to describe golfer Rory McIlroy. I love sports, I love golf, but I am not a fan of Rory's.

"Mostly for the way he treated tennis great Caroline Wozniacki and discarded her like a piece of chewed gum when he broke her heart and broke off their engagement in a short phone conversation.

"That’s worse than breaking up on a Post-it. Now to be clear, neither Harris nor Jenna Lee used the term and I don’t want them to get the credit for it. I called Rory McIlroy a leprechaun and believe me I wanted to call him much worse.

"As you know, some of my best friends are leprechauns and they also have tremendous sense of humour. Thank you.”

Wow! I don't know about you, but I was expecting a climbdown from Montgomery today and an apology from Fox News.

Alas, no such thing. Instead, this moron has gone and turned a molehill into a mountain.

Strangely, her defence has become worse than her crime.

If you dissect this statement from Monty - let's call her that as we know she likes golf now - you'll notice that she acknowledges that she called McIlroy a leprechaun but that's it, no backtracking, no explanation, no nothing. So racial stereotyping is fine in her eyes then.

Today she said she "loves golf" yet yesterday she used a highly insulting term to describe the best golfer on the planet. And for what? Because she doesn't like his a decision he made in his love life?

That, she said, was her motive - she was just defending "tennis great" Caroline Wozniacki. Tennis great? You're really pushing the boat out now, Lisa.

Now the details into how celebrity relationships end have never really interested me. Maybe Rory could have been a touch more sensitive in ending his engagement to Wozniacki, or maybe there's more to the story than meets the eye.

Either way, this does not excuse Montgomery calling an Irishman a leprechaun - nothing does.

She wanted to call him worse, she says, which leads me to believe she doesn't even understand the derogatory word she used.

Last and by no means least - NO means - was that line, the single greatest line in the history of 'apologies'.

"As you know, some of my best friends are leprechauns and they also have tremendous sense of humours. Thank you."

Ah sure well then, apology - was there even one? - accepted. Next time you're in Ireland, call into me and I'll make you a lovely bacon and cabbage dinner.

Like I said, I wasn't gravely offended by Montgomery calling my countryman a leprechaun because it's clear she is simply an ignoramus who had an axe to grind in her attempts to defend tennis great - that one still gets me - Wozniacki.

But this comment and the subsequent statement, which did annoy me, no doubt has appalled and upset a great deal others. Others from different ethnicities and minorities even, perhaps.

Montgomery completely and utterly shamed herself by racially stereotyping an Irishman, but what's now worse than that is her blase attitude towards her comment even after she has had the time to assess how it might have been perceived by many - 4,776,882 million to be exact - as offensive.

Her statement smacks of belittlement - 'get over it Ireland, sure my friends are leprechauns.'

Ah grand then, let's just get back to our pots of gold now Ireland.

Go play with your leprechaun friends,  Lisa. The ones who have a 'sense of humour'.

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