Smugness of new Masters' boss of no use to golf or humanity
“Tomorrow night, after tonights (sic) show, I’ve decided to have some strippers over. All are welcome however there will be no nudity. i plan on killing the bitches as soon as the[y] walk in and proceding (sic) to cut their skin off.”
– E-mail message sent by a Duke University lacrosse player literally minutes after a stripper accused players on the team of rape.
As qualities go, petulant smugness is not an attractive one for the leader of one of the most respected golf tournaments in the land.
So when Billy Payne took over for Hootie Johnson as the chairman of Augusta National and the Masters, one had hoped that his ability to handle the debate over the club’s male-only membership rules would have been more adult than his predecessor, who famously quipped that Augusta would not open its doors to female members “at the point of a bayonet.”
The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office charged that Leonard, 37, shot and killed Charlene’s mother, Patsy Riley Grant, a 50-year-old caregiver, on Feb. 21 and severely beat Charlene with the butt of a shotgun.
– Island Packet, Hilton Head
Sadly, when confronted with the issue of allowing women as members for the first time, Payne quickly came off as smug and petulant.
“I’m very much aware of her position on all issues as they relate to Augusta National,” Payne said of Burk, the former leader of the National Council of Women’s Organizations, who had requested a meeting with him. “I don’t really see at this time that any dialogue would be meaningful or helpful.”
Now, this isn’t to say Augusta National shouldn’t have the right to be all-male. It should. Because, in an open society, such issues can be debated, examined, and will eventually resolve themselves to some extent.
But when the leader of Augusta blows off the debate as meaningless, he validates the stereotype that the leaders of golf are overfed, oblivious and self-important. Because don’t think that Payne’s comment was intended solely for feminist Martha Burk. It’s purpose was also to mute the issue.
For a man to casually slough off such an issue is childish at best, and dangerous at its worst.
Violence against women is a major public health problem for Georgia women. The Sourcebook for Criminal Justice Statistics, 2001, ranked Georgia 19 out of 51, based on the rates of violent crime, which included forcible rape, aggravated assault, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, and robbery. In fact, according to the Cost of Intimate Violence Report by CDC, the costs of intimate partner assault, rape and stalking is estimated to exceed $5.8 billion each year.
Nothing smacks more of arrogance than believing we are some incredibly evolved species. We as humans aren’t. We just aren’t. From bashing a woman’s skull in with the butt of shotgun, to blowing off a woman’s concerns regarding equality, we are not in a position to be smug about anything regarding the rights of women.
So while freedom should dictate that Payne and his boys should be allowed to choose the rules of which they play, having an all-male club requires a singularly important thing – that the club be run by a real man. And real men listen.
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To include the graphic - and horrendous - news items with your blog entry was ludicrous. They don't belong in the same discussion; they aren't even in the same ballpark. The bottomline is this: Augusta National has every right to hold the position it does. Period. They are not beholden to justify that position to anyone save their membership.
And I believe that portraying Mr. Payne's response as "smug and petulant" is a gross mis-charcterization. He is simply stating the truth as he sees it: that Ms. Burk and the organization she formerly represented have an opinion (to which they are, of course, fully entitled); that Ms. Burk has made that opinion clear; and that the club holds a differing opinion. Therefore, he sees no point in discussing the matter further.
Where is the problem?
Yes, the rich in America can do what they like, but do they have to be such insufferable scumbags about shoving their bourgeoise entitlements down regular human's throats?
Since the game seems so onerous to you, scribe, why DO you play it, and more immediately, why do you post here?
As you are almost certainly aware, the First Tee is the primary vehicle for growing the game. There's also Golf 20/20, Play Golf America, and others, but the First Tee is the primary program.
It is supported by almost every major manufacturer and every golf organization, including the USGA, the PGA of America, the LPGA, THE PGA TOUR and Augusta National. In fact, the Masters has given more than $9 million to the First Tee since 1998 - including $1 million this year. The PGA Tour has also donated many millions to the First Tee; while I can't confirm this at the moment, the Tour is, in all likelihood, the top supporter of the First Tee.
That sure doesn't sound like "a lack of support from golf's elitist institutions."
Oooh, so rich people aren't "real" now? Hmmm, someone sounds like he's been reading too much Marx in his spare time...
1. Since when is golf the "world's most egalitarian sport"? I thought it was soccer [futbol] which is certainly played by more people worldwide, and certainly played by more of the proletariat.
2. The false assumption that "limiting the growth of the game" is a bad thing and that egalitarianism is the better path. Why? This is an unsupported tenet on which to base your argument. It's entirely possible that the excluded class has no ambition to join the country clubbers. It's also possible that they are better off without the accoutrements of wealth. Your misplaced hostility is evidence that YOU want it, but you should place your inferiority complex on the rest of the unwashed masses. [Oh, and I will cop to being "churlish" and "elitist", though not "right wing"]
And if you've seen "Good Will Hunting", I would guess that you're the guy in the bar that Matt Damon humiliates while he's spouting platitudes about colonial economies.
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