Martha Burk On LPGAers Backing Trump Bedminster: "They’re acting like good little girls and remaining mute"
Martha knows how to turn on the charm offensive, doesn't she?
Hootie Johnson's favorite bayonet target is pushing hard for the USGA to pull the 2017 U.S. Women's Open from Trump Bedminster. The USGA has not changed its position today date.
Writing a commentary for Huffington Post, Burk explains the dynamics involved for the many who will not know the USGA from the LPGA. And in her inimitable way, manages to push the boundaries of truthfulness and offend sensibilities that will not do much for the cause.
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.
It seems short-sighted to suggest players should boycott the most significant event on their calendar, particularly one where the site is chosen by an outside organization. Players have enough to worry about in getting a small ball into a hole without having to take a stand against someone who still, may, win the nation's highest office a week from today.
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.
Of course we know that (A) the chances of the host offering to cover losses is highly unlikely (B) the USGA typically loses money on the U.S. Women's Open.
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.”
I'm not sure those are the issues in play here, but she's certainly entitled to that view.
For me, the issue facing the USGA is very simple: will Donald Trump overshadow a national championship that still could be moved? If he's elected President he will be too busy. However, if he's not elected and continues a public presence inspired by the campaign, his past comments and high profile will potentially impact the most important women's golf tournament of the year.
We discussed this and more last week on Morning Drive. The panel hosted by Gary Williams featured Beth Ann Nichols, Ron Sirak, Matt Adams and yours truly. We followed an interview by Williams of USA Today columnist Christine Brennan, whose case for moving the Women's Open from Trump Bedminster is very different and far more convincing than Burks' (not that Martha set much of a bar).
The full interview with Brennan and roundtable discussion: