"It is easier to build a strong child than to repair a broken man." - Frederick Douglass

Racism in the Golf Industry

Courtesy of generalising’s (Flickr CC0)

Legendary Golfers Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson played a game with former President Donald Trump, last month. It is well known that Trump likes golf. However, Those prominent golfers playing with former President Trump puts a bad taste in people’s mouths.

Trump, being the man who said this about the Latin American community: ”When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” 

Most people remember the racism and the misogyny of the previous administration. However, if that bigotry is well known why would these golfers play with him? The man that tried to carry out a coup on January 6? 

 Are these golfers and or the golf community racist? This would be the only explanation for such behavior. Surely the sport with primarily white men of power couldn’t be racist. Sarcasm aside, It isn’t very surprising that the very gatekept sport that primarily the rich and powerful enjoy might have a few streaks of racism. The question is, how deep does it go?

Golf has existed for centuries but how long has the bias within the sport existed? How long did it take for more representation within the industry and the sport? All relevant questions to bring more light to what was once in darkness: racism in the golf industry. What about Tiger woods? Just because one individual within an oppressed minority group finds success, doesn’t mean that said minority group has become less oppressed.

Courtesy of Catalin Munteanu (Flickr CC0)

Instead of looking at individuals, there should be a more holistic analysis of the racial bias and discriminatory behavior within the golf industry and community. There was a Sports Illustrated article that discuss racism in the golf industry: “If you look at the PGA Tour, it kind of represents the United States in that there are so many white people that have money and power. … I’m just looking for an opportunity to have a chance to make that change,” stated Wyatt Worthington — a very successful Black professional golfer.

Many golfers have expressed concerns about racial bias and discrimination in the industry. Those concerns have in the past fallen on deaf ears. Why have such discrimination and bias proliferated within the industry?

Why is it that according to Sports Illustrated: “More than any other tournament, the Masters reminds us that golf’s history cannot be separated from its present. Its legend is largely built on the exclusivity of a club that did not admit a Black member until 1990 and a female member until 2012. “What could be done? How can this issue be addressed? How can the racist and discriminatory behavior within the golf industry be mitigated or eliminated?

The complex issue that is eliminating racism within an industry is an arduous task. First, there must be an investigation of sorts. An investigation with the goal of figuring out how deep the systemic racism in the industry goes. After that, there would need to be more steps that take place. Five-year plans, individual investigations of misconduct, and much more.

However such measures are usually reserved for an organization that already has close ties to the industry which helps no one. It would be like the police investigating themselves for what they did. Or a 4th grader being asked to grade his own papers. All of these situations involve someone or an organization with no integrity being asked to accurately judge themselves. An entirely separate organization must investigate the golf industry. Beyond the investigation stage, there must be an action that takes place after.

Too many times have organizations investigated themselves, either found something or found nothing, then proceed to do nothing about it. There must be an office of accountability of sorts. One is not connected to anything within the sport of golf. One powerful enough it could make the golf industry change itself.

Once the deed is done, there must be routine checkups to make sure discriminatory practices aren’t developing in any way. The reason for this is something called the “paradox of tolerance.” This is the idea that to keep the intolerant out of a society, the tolerant must be intolerant to the intolerance.

Opinion by Kenneth Mazerat
Edited by Sheena Robertson


Sports Illustrated: What Golf’s Race Problem Looks Like From the Inside

CNN: Donald Trump to play round with Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson ahead of LIV Golf event by: Ben Morse

Washington Post: Donald Trump’s false comments connecting Mexican immigrants and crime by Michelle Ye Hee Lee

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of  generalising’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Inset image Courtesy of Catalin Munteanu Flickr page- Creative Commons License

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