Pro golf remains one of the last high-profile holdouts in a cascade of businesses and organizations that have cut ties with Donald Trump over his assertion that Mexican immigrants are criminals and rapists.
Although October's PGA Grand Slam of Golf was pulled from the Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles in Rancho Palos Verdes as a result of pressure from Latino groups, pro golf remains committed to its other ties to the GOP candidate, even if it's reluctant about it.
Today 40 U.S. Latino organizations launched an online petition that asks the LPGA, the USGA, the PGA Tour and the PGA of America "to remove all of their future tournaments from Donald Trump's golf courses or risk losing business from all who reject racism," according to the National Hispanic Media Coalition, which has been out front in criticizing the sport's relationships with Trump's multiple golf courses.
"By refusing to break ties with Trump, the golf associations silently acquiesce to his bigotry, and send the game of golf back into the dark ages," says NHMC CEO Alex Nogales. "For many years these entities allowed blatant exclusion of women and people of color from the game. Though they have undertaken efforts to promote a more inclusive environment, their inactions negate those efforts and align them with racism and bigotry."
The petition says:
We urge you to drop tournaments from Trump’s golf courses. Donald Trump has built his political career by attacking immigrant, Latino and black communities and women, with hateful rhetoric and dangerous lies. Trump must be held accountable. His extremist and hateful views have no place in the White House, the Club House, or in American politics.
The NHMC sent letters to the golf organizations weeks ago and says only the PGA Tour responded. Nogales told us he spoke with a PGA official yesterday and argued that "this guy [Trump] is a racist, and you guys should know better."
But Nogales says the association did not commit to making any moves regarding its deals with Trump. The real estate mogul has very publicly vowed to sue some of those businesses that have severed ties with him since his June remarks, and Nogales thinks fear of litigation could be a factor in pro golf's foot-dragging.
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NHMC, meanwhile, notes that LPGA's Ricoh Women's British Open is under way at Trump's Turnberry Resort in Western Scotland. Other major golf tournaments are scheduled to take place at the GOP presidential frontrunner's properties. For example:
Los Angeles Country Club in Holmby Hills was recently announced as the location of the 2023 U.S. Open. The tournament's organizer, United States Golf Association (USGA), has selected the Trump National Bedminster course as the site of the 2017 U.S. Women's Open.
"The Latino community, whose buying power exceeds $1.5 trillion annually, is taking note of this new affront by several major U.S. golf associations," says Felix Sanchez, chairman and co-founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts.
That group is part of a large coalition of Latino organizations, including the NHMC, Presente.org, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the New York Immigration Coalition, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) and more, that are behind the petition.