Are we stuck in the Dark Ages? Sure seems like it when it comes to at least one issue regarding professional golf.
I’ve been biting my tongue on this one for a while, but in the wake of recent developments, it’s time to open the can and whoop some ass.
Remember when Augusta National Golf Club finally allowed an African-American in into its tony, previously openly racist membership in 1991? Great progressive development, right?
Yeah, but it came only under intense public pressure and in the wake of the 1990 institution of a long-overdue PGA Tour policy of not playing tournaments at clubs where membership discrimination exists.
Alas, the good ol’ boys who bring us the Masters are sticking to their guns — think 1894 guns, all rusted-out and unwieldy — when it comes allowing a woman into the inner circle.
And get this: PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, while acknowledging that Augusta National is not in compliance with the tour’s anti-discrimination stance, says he’s going to let the club slide and keep the Master in the majors rotation because “it’s too important,” and the club is “not doing anything illegal.”
Are you kidding, Tim? Has there ever been a more ridiculous admission of allowing a double standard in the history of sports? Absolutely unreal. This is happening in this day and age?
Look, if Finchem and the powers at CBS and ESPN had even a modicum of backbone, they’d all get together, hold a press conference and make the incredibly bold move of announcing that the Masters is out of the majors rotation and off the air, effective immediately, until ALL discriminatory policies are reversed.
And because you just know the Augusta National members are so arrogant that they’ll try to hold the tournament anyway and find another TV partner, Finchem should announce that any PGA player who participates in the Masters will be suspended for a year.
No way a single player gives up a year of those fat purses to play in a tourney freshly branded as a breeding ground for bigots. The Masters, and Augusta National’s prestige, would immediately die on the vine. Make The Players Championship the new major until the clueless coots in the deep South come to their senses.
And when they do — and they will — the PGA and CBS and ESPN can take pride in knowing that they helped affect change. Meaningful, socially impactful, responsible change.
Come on, people. This is 2012. This cannot be allowed. Somebody sack up.
SPEED ROUND: Tim Lincecum continues to struggle; one “quality start” — six innings minimum, three earned runs maximum — in seven outings this year. It’s not quite panic time yet, but there isn’t another elite pitcher in the game off to this ugly of a start. Think the Giants are glad Timmy decided not to take them up on that six- or seven-year deal this past winter? ... Ben Roethlisberger says he thinks the 49ers targeted him last season. Duh. You’re in the NFL, meat. You’re a quarterback. You’re a target every game, against every team. Unless you have some sort of bounty related evidence, shut the hell up. ... And finally, can we all agree that the A’s are infinitely more fun to watch than the Giants right now? The A’s are fresh and surprising. The Giants? It’s not even torture anymore. It’s flat-out aggravating.
Mychael Urban, a frequent co-host of The Wheelhouse (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) on 95.7 FM The Game, can be followed on Twitter @BigUrbSports. His website is UrbsUnchained.com.