The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) has demanded that the PGA Tour strip the Agusta National Golf Club in Georgia of the annual Masters Tournament due to the state’s new voting law.
The executive director of the NBJC, David J. Johns, stated the law intended to restrict the voting rights of African Americans in Georgia.
“Georgia’s new law restricting voting access is designed to turn back the clock on civil rights, and return Black and poor and already disenfranchised voters in Georgia to second class citizens,” Johns stated in an interview with Golfweek. “This is an unacceptable attack on our democracy and companies that operate in Georgia must speak out against this restrictive law.”
“The PGA Tour and Masters Tournament have both made commitments to help diversify golf and address racial inequities in this country — and we expect them to not only speak out against Georgia’s new racist voter suppression law — but to also take action.”
“Professional golf should not reward Georgia’s attacks on democracy and voting rights with the millions of dollars in revenue that the tournament generates and the prestige it brings to the State,” Johns continued. “We all must act to protect our democracy and the right to vote.”
The NBJC has also reached out to urge professional golfers to boycott the event if the PGA refuses to move it.
President Joe Biden has also commented on voting laws like the ones passed in Georgia as “un-American” and “sick,” and has said the new voting law in Georgia is “an atrocity.”
“You don’t need anything else to know that this is nothing but punitive, designed to keep people from voting,” –Biden
The Governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, has come out to say that the new law will make elections in Georgia more “secure, accessible, and fair.”
This is not the first time that the Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament have been in trouble. Last year a sportswriter, Rob Parker, who had already gone after the NFL trying to get them to eliminate the playing of the national anthem before each game went after the Masters Tournament. He attempted to get the NAme of the tournament changed because “in the current climate, with all the sweeping changes, it’s only right and just.”
Parker wrote that “Augusta National was built on grounds that were once a slave plantation and was the property of a slave owner. And according to a 2019 New Yorker piece about the course, it’s believed that enslaved Blacks were housed on the property.”
“Tiger Woods, other big-time golfers and corporate sponsorships should demand it. In the current climate, with all the sweeping changes, it’s only right and just. Best of all, in this case, it’s a simple and smooth fix. The Masters never felt good or even sounded good when you said it,” Parker continued. “When you hear anyone say the Masters, you think of slave masters in the South. There’s nothing else, nothing special. You don’t think of someone mastering the game of golf. When has anyone mastered golf?”
With all the publicity happening around the event we will have to wait and see what decision the PGA makes regarding the demands laid before it.