Sports

The Battle Over Trump And Women’s Golf Didn’t Help The Sport

The Women’s U.S. Open in golf is the maximum prestigious event the women play. This yr, more attention turned into paid to the match because of its place: Trump National Golf Club, certainly one of 17 guides owned by using the president.

For the past year, the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and America Golf Association (USGA) confronted strain to move the event after Trump’s infamous “Access Hollywood” tapes surfaced. UltraViolet, a non-profit specializing in the advancement of women’s rights and the combat against sexism, gathered over a hundred,000 signatures on a petition to move the venue and prepared numerous protests at LPGA tournaments, flying planes with banners connected announcing, “USGA & LPGA Dump Trump!” Sports journalists picked up the thread, penning columns shaming the USGA for what they saw become a complicit guide of sexist behavior.

In many methods, the event turned into a ladies’ rights discourse. Co-founding father of UltraViolet Shaunna Thomas said in an interview that she did not need the limelight to be taken away from the players however also believed this was a vital possibility to convey recognition to sexism, saying, “This isn’t a lesser trouble than others because Donald Trump represents an existential danger for girls. Just in virtue of the man or woman he is and the energy that he holds, he may be a recognized sexual predator and still get hold of sufficient votes to come to be president of the USA, and that could be a real threat to ladies’ safety.”

Some golf enthusiasts saw it as a possibility for girls golfing to acquire extra publicity. Not pretty. Women’s golf did not receive more publicity: It was Trump who stole the spotlight earlier than the match began amid rumors that he might attend the match and present the trophy to the winner.

In reality, there was no evidence that extra human beings tuned in to observe girls’ golf without a doubt because Trump would be there. Crowds definitely appeared drastically smaller than previous years, and numerous bills from players and caddies fought the notion that one way or the other Trump might draw larger crowds.

Missy Pederson, a caddie with the LPGA stated, “This is the tenth U.S. Open I have caddied and upon coming into the products tent I without delay observed how small it’s far in evaluation to preceding years. So I requested why? Eventually, I changed into informed that the merchandise orders had been pushed by ticket sales. One can deduce that small merchandise orders equal small price ticket income. Once tournament play started out there had been very obvious voids inside the gallery, so ticket sales did appear to be down. It’s hard to understand slow tickets sales at a major event, near a densely populated region like New York City, when 3 years ago we played in a small metropolis in Pennsylvania and drew nearly 140,000 humans. So you’re left to conclude that either Trump’s presence had no impact or it, in fact, had a negative effect on girls’ golf.”

Another player, who wished to stay nameless, said she signed fewer autographs at this year’s U.S. Open because of smaller crowds.

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Lizette Salas, who made her fifth cut in a row on the U.S. Open stated, “I’m sorry however this is not a U.S. Open revel in for spectators or gamers.”

In previous times, Trump has declined to seem at an event, bringing up a preference to no longer be a distraction. According to Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White, Trump stated that he would now not attend the Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor combat due to the fact “he seems like he’ll spoil events; he’ll ruin the event if he suggests up. Secret Service goes to have to go through the vicinity. They’ll shut down streets and create crazy traffic.”

That didn’t forestall Trump from becoming the primary sitting president to attend the Women’s U.S. Open and taking benefit of a possibility to sell himself at one of his venues regardless of the distraction his appearance brought on the women. Trump does no longer mind that the focal point can be on him and now not on the play. As Inbee Park’s caddie Brad Beecher talked about, “Everybody became grew to become the other manner, away from us, with their cell phone cameras pointed up at the president. We heard the yelling, and then we saw him get up and wave.”

 

It’s an unfortunate pattern: Women’s golf most effective get headlines whilst controversy surrounds the tournament. The problem isn’t removed to women’s golf, and there are absolutely numerous instances whilst it happens in other ladies’ sports. As someone who used to play at the LPGA and who nonetheless follows girls golfing intently, I can’t assist however word while this takes place with women’s golfing.

For nearly two months, a debatable ruling on the ANA Inspiration arguably value Lexi Thompson the event, and the fallout dominated the news. Despite the coverage, I could hedge a guess with any golfer that they don’t realize who surely won that week. (In case you didn’t recognize: So Yeon Ryu.)

When Wayne Gretzky’s daughter, Paulina, landed on the duvet of Golf Digest in May 2014 really for getting engaged to a golfer, people were irate. Since its founding in 1950, Golf Digest has only posted 23 problems with girls on the duvet. On nine of those covers, a girl player shared the cover with other male professionals. Golf writers wrote columns asking how the magazine ought to put Paulina and not a LPGA participant on the cover and posted those columns in retailers that still display little love for women’s golfing. Caring about the illustration of women golfers can’t only come while it’s handy to be outraged.

Two years ago, on the Solheim Cup (a twin among pinnacle players in Europe and America), Suzanne Peterson got here under fireplace for what was deemed bad sportsmanship toward fellow player Alison Lee. Again, the controversy dominated the headlines in place of the notable play displayed by using the Americans to win the Cup. The recognition grew to become on what many described as catty conduct displayed through the girls regardless of that we see bad sportsmanship in each degree of fellows’ sports.

 

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