PALM BEACH GARDENS — Former PGA champion Steve Elkington caused outrage on Twitter on Tuesday when he made a disparaging remark about Missouri defensive end Michael Sam while trying to criticize media coverage that refers to him as gay.
Sam came out publicly two weeks ago. The NFL never has had an openly homosexual player. Sam is projected to be a mid- to late-round draft pick in May's draft.
Elkington first tweeted that ESPN's coverage of Sam was "embarrassing." He then tweeted: "ESPN reporting Michael Sam is leading the handbag throw at NFL combine … No one else expected to throw today."
Elkington deleted his tweet, then later tweeted: "I'm for Sam I'm against ESPN telling me he's gay. …" That post, too, was later deleted.
According to CBS, the PGA Tour asked Elkington, 51, to take down the tweets. The Tour suggested a fine was in order, though it has a policy of not announcing discipline.
Elkington, of Australia, created more reaction trying to explain his earlier post: "It goes back to "a ball hit an oriental spectator".There's no oriental spectators..There just spectators.."like m Sam … He's just an athlete," he tweeted. That tweet as well as the others drew many angry responses on Twitter.