You may have caught the story last week. Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne stomped the balls off Tiger Woods for … well, if you need to be told what for, then you probably don’t know who Tiger Woods is in the first place. Or Billy Payne. And you probably don’t know what the Master’s is, or where Augusta is, and you may not even have heard of “golf.” So you can safely skip ahead to the next article.
Are Billy’s remarks about Tiger true? Maybe. Probably. Are they in-bounds, given what Augusta is? Sure – why not?
But remember – this post isn’t about Tiger Woods. The real question is about Billy Payne and the vaunted Augusta National Golf Club.
For starters, you may remember Martha Burk’s attack on the place a few years back for its refusal to admit women as members. Best we can tell, the club is still all-male.
Now, I don’t know Billy Payne. I don’t, if I might poach a line from a famous former president, know his heart. He may be an irredeemable cracker or the very soul of progressivism. But what we do know, and what matters here, is that his particular bully pulpit sits on the hallowed grounds of an institution that discriminates on the basis of gender and that was also doing so on the basis of race more than 25 years after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. And nobody seems to be arguing that they have since transformed themselves into a case study for civil rights reform.
It’s their right to do so, they have argued, and it is. That it is your right doesn’t make it right, though. And the most honorable pulpits are built on what’s right, not on it’s our rights.
No matter how true your point may be, Billy, credibility matters. And the organization for which you’re currently jawboning has precious little credibility on the subject of … well, on any subject other than golf, to be honest.
In light of this, then, we have three things to say about your self-righteous rant of Wednesday last:
2: The fuck.
Maybe “all of us, and more importantly, our kids and our grandkids” are “disappointed” about the composition of your rich white boys club, too, and about the moral message it sends to those who believe in things like fair play.
Are we clear?