LPGA Buries Its Head in the Sand Trap

Pressure is mounting on the United States Golf Association to move next year’s Women’s U.S. Open away from the Trump-owned Bedminster club in New Jersey. The protest against 2016-10-30-1477851309-5335303-USWOFlag600.jpghaving the tourney played there was started by a group of prominent male African American golfers led by NYU professor Jeffrey Sammons. Sammons resigned from the Golf Association’s Museum Committee and its African American Golf Archive in response to Trump’s many racist comments, long before his infamous kiss-and-crotch-grab tape added sex discrimination to the fire.

An online petition against the Trump location is gathering steam, and some members of the U.S. Senate have come onboard with a letter urging the USGA to find another venue for the tournament. But the USGA refuses to budge. One reason may be the players themselves. Most if not all of them are members of the Ladies Professional Golf Association, and they’re acting like good little girls and remaining mute, or saying they don’t see a problem with playing their most important tournament at a course owned by the country’s leading misogynist.

To be clear, as the governing body of golf, the USGA, not the LPGA, is the Decider when it comes to where the Women’s Open is played. Technically the LPGA has no say. But without players there would be no tournament. So while the women can’t make the decision about location, they can make a decision individually — or better collectively – not to participate.

Trump has reportedly guaranteed that he will cover any monetary losses on the event, a tiny price for a billionaire to pay to buy legitimacy from an organization that ought to care more about its own reputation. But it’s clear the USGA is at the core a boys club willing to exploit the women for monetary gain.

It’s way past time for the USGA to stand up for the players instead of standing down in favor of profits over principles. It’s also time for the LPGA to stand up against the male mindset that the women are secondary. None of these women got where they are today by being shrinking violets on the course. But they’ve no doubt had to bend to the will of the guys who run golf when it comes to decisions about their career prospects, which in this case means sacrificing personal integrity if they continue to stay silent. We’ve all heard the expression “Well behaved women seldom make history.”

Ladies, this is your shot. Take it.

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