Viet Nam News
The world of politics (US) and golf collided again when the PGA Tour decided to move its 2017 WGC-Cadillac Championship from the Trump National Doral golf course to a location in Mexico after it was unable to line up enough sponsorship dollars.
That’s the golf part. The politics part comes from the fact that US Presidential candidate, Donald Trump, owns Doral and given his preoccupation with Mexico and walls, his reply was almost comically predictable.
“Good. I hope the PGA Tour has kidnapping insurance.”
Trump went on to say, "The PGA Tour has put profit ahead of thousands of American jobs, millions of dollars in revenue for local communities and charities and the enjoyment of hundreds of thousands of fans who make the tournament an annual tradition… "
Personally, I see no problem in moving the event to Mexico.
Golf is a world sport. It’s played in most parts of the world by people from all walks of life. Rich and poor (Yes, rich people have nicer courses, but the same thing can be said about football as well. Kids only need a vacant lot).
The Tour claims this is not politically motivated, and I hope it would not be as politics should not be involved in sport. We see that ugly beast every four years at the Olympics where nations seem to put patriotism over sportmanship.
Yet, last December, Tour officials seemed more critical of Trump, suggesting that they might find a new home for the event after Trump made disparaging comments about Mexicans and suggested banning Muslims from the US.
Their statement at the time said Trump’s "comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf".
“It also said after this year’s tournament in March, it would "explore all options regarding the event’s future."
The PGA (Professional Golfers Association of America), which is separate from the PGA Tour, pulled one of its golf tournaments from a Trump-owned golf course near Los Angeles in July 2015.
So, just for the sake of argument, the PGA and PGA Tour decided to move their events because they don’t like Trump’s comments and feel that it would have a negative impact on the Tour’s image to be associated with Trump at this time.
Hmm, when Augusta National was faced with a boycott over not having female members, they simply cancelled all the sponsorship that year and held the event with their own money. They didn’t cave in to public pressure, but they DID quietly amend their policies to allow female members once the hoo-ha settled down. That is the Augusta National way.
Another club which decided not to be bullied or threatened is Muirfield.
With a long and distinguished history of holding the (British) Open Championship (also known as “THE OPEN” to golf purists) the members of Muirfield decided they would rather continue their tradition of being a male-only golf club and not bend to public pressure. But by doing so, they have been disallowed from holding the Open Championship there.
“Politically Correctness” decrees that any discrimination is grounds for someone to get outraged and begin complaining. Yes, there are people who wake up in the morning and deliberately look for reasons to become outraged.
Being the kind and cooperative soul that I am, I do everything in my power to help people like this achieve their goal. If I can actually get them so outraged they have a massive stroke or cardiac arrest, then I can go to sleep happy I have done my part.
While Muirfield’s stance might seem bold and confident, we also need to remember that they held the Open Championship there in 2013, so they wouldn’t be eligible for another one for quite a few years.
For the record, Muirfield has hosted 16 Open Championships, with the first one being in 1892.
I am personally torn on the idea of forcing clubs to open their doors to people they don’t want. The Cambridge Dictionary definition of a club is “an organization of people with a common purpose or interest, who meet regularly and take part in shared activities”.
Forcing them to open their doors to others is wrong.
But by the same token if they are exclusionary, I also think they shouldn’t hold national championships. — VNS