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Laurence J. Kotlikoff

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Pro Golfers Should Boycott Augusta 'National' Golf Club

Posted: 04/ 9/2012 9:45 am

The Masters Golf tournament was held last week, as it is every year, at the Augusta National Golf Club -- a private, mens-only club.

Imagine the tournament were held in a private, whites-only club, or a private, no-jews club, or a private no-muslims club, or a private no-hispanics club, or a private no-Asians club, or a private no-Irish, or a private no-gays club, ... .

People would be outraged. But somehow there is far too little outrage over the exclusion of half our world's population from this club.

The Augusta "National" Golf Club has a Constitutional right as a private establishment to decide its membership. If Augusta wants to ostracize women, it's free to do so.

But professional golfers are also free to do the right thing and boycott Augusta until the club changes its policy. There are plenty of outstanding golf clubs around the country that are open to all members of society and that would be thrilled to host the tournament in the season of Easter and Passover, which celebrate redemption, freedom, and equality.

It wouldn't take much to get this boycott underway. Were Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Charl Schwartzel, and a few other top players, whose ancestors experienced or practiced discrimination, to jointly announce they weren't going to play at a club that discriminates against women or anyone else, all the other top players would quickly follow suit.

And, low and behold, Augusta would change its rules overnight and join the 21st Century. If it didn't, the Masters would go on and Augusta would fade into obscurity, where its current policies should properly leave it.

 

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