Boycott Threatened as Pro Golf Tour Sticks With Donald Trump

Boycott Threatened as Pro Golf Tour Sticks With Donald Trump
Donald Trump via Gage Skidmore/Flickr

UPDATE at 4:48 p.m., Wednesday, July 1, 2015: U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas, a San Fernando Valley Democrat, is calling on the PGA to cut its ties with Trump. More below.

In October the 33rd PGA Grand Slam of Golf is slated to come to Los Angeles County, where about one in every two of us is Latino — mostly of Mexican descent.

That will be interesting.

Following Donald Trump's widely criticized comments about Mexican immigrants, the PGA remains just about the last major national brand to stay in business with the GOP presidential candidate.

And it's not backing down.

The Pasadena-based National Hispanic Media Coalition says it will call for a boycott of PGA events, including the one in L.A., if the organization doesn't end its business relationship with Trump.

"If they want a boycott for supporting a racist, we will have to accommodate them," says NHMC CEO Alex Nogales. "We cannot allow this to stand. It's right in our backyard. He has a lot of Latinos working there."

The PGA just announced that Trump's latest comments on illegal immigration do not represent its views. But it's so far sticking with its business relationship with the real estate mogul. Here's the statement the organization sent to L.A. Weekly this afternoon:

In response to Mr. Trump's comments about the golf industry "knowing he is right" in regards to his recent statements about Mexican immigrants, we feel compelled to clarify that those remarks do not reflect the views of our organizations. While the LPGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour and USGA don't usually comment on presidential politics, Mr. Trump's comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf.

Last year the men's pro golf tour announced "a new partnership with the Trump Organization," which will include hosting the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.

Today Macy's became the latest concern to sever ties with Trump following last week's remarks and his continued defense of views — Mexican immigrants are rapists, drug dealers and criminals — that are inconsistent with academic studies on such matters.

The retailer sent us this statement today:

Macy’s is a company that stands for diversity and inclusion. We have no tolerance for discrimination in any form. We welcome all customers, and respect for the dignity of all people is a cornerstone of our culture. We are disappointed and distressed by recent remarks about immigrants from Mexico. We do not believe the disparaging characterizations portray an accurate picture of the many Mexicans, Mexican-Americans and Latinos who have made so many valuable contributions to the success of our nation. In light of statements made by Donald Trump, which are inconsistent with Macy’s values, we have decided to discontinue our business relationship with Mr. Trump and will phase out the Trump menswear collection, which has been sold at Macy’s since 2004.

NBC on Monday said it would cut ties with Trump. The network aired The Apprentice and the Trump co-owned Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.

The National Hispanic Media coalition on Friday met with top NBC TV executives in order to pressure them to drop Trump. The next question for NHMC honcho Alex Nogales is whether  the NBC Universal-owned Golf Channel will stand by its commitment to air the PGA's Grand Slam of Golf in Los Angeles Oct. 19-21.

"Our friends at NBC — I'm going to have to speak with them," Nogales told us.

We emailed a Golf Channel representative but had yet to hear back.

NBC's announcement on Monday followed Spanish-language network Univision's own revelation that it wouldn't air Miss USA, as planned, in light of Trump's immigration views.

Ora TV, the production company of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, this week said it had dropped plans to do a "television project" with Trump, too.

That pretty much just leaves the PGA.

We reached out to a number of Latino golf organizations on the topic but had yet to hear back.

UPDATE at 4:48 p.m., Wednesday, July 1, 2015: U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas, a San Fernando Valley Democrat, says the PGA should reconsider its relationship with Trump:

Responsible companies, and responsible people, throughout our nation have severed ties with Donald Trump because his views and comments do not reflect modern America. I hope that these hateful remarks do not simply "not reflect" the PGA, but that the PGA finds them disgusting. As a golfer, I also hope that the actions of the PGA will follow those of companies like Univision, NBCUniversal, Macy’s and others. People like Donald Trump must understand that the American people, and businesses, in the 21st century have shown that they are unwilling to patronize business owners with such an antiquated outlook on our society.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow L.A. Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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