This is not about Tiger Woods. It's about Billy Payne. And Augusta National. And sexism. And racism.

You may have caught the story last week. Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne stomped the balls off Tiger Woods for … well, if you need to be told what for, then you probably don’t know who Tiger Woods is in the first place. Or Billy Payne. And you probably don’t know what the Master’s is, or where Augusta is, and you may not even have heard of “golf.” So you can safely skip ahead to the next article.

Are Billy’s remarks about Tiger true? Maybe. Probably. Are they in-bounds, given what Augusta is? Sure – why not?

But remember – this post isn’t about Tiger Woods. The real question is about Billy Payne and the vaunted Augusta National Golf Club.

For starters, you may remember Martha Burk’s attack on the place a few years back for its refusal to admit women as members. Best we can tell, the club is still all-male.

George Vecsey thinks they’re racist, as well. Jason Whitlock does, too, noting that it wasn’t until 1990 that the club finally admitted its first token negro.

Now, I don’t know Billy Payne. I don’t, if I might poach a line from a famous former president, know his heart. He may be an irredeemable cracker or the very soul of progressivism. But what we do know, and what matters here, is that his particular bully pulpit sits on the hallowed grounds of an institution that discriminates on the basis of gender and that was also doing so on the basis of race more than 25 years after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. And nobody seems to be arguing that they have since transformed themselves into a case study for civil rights reform.

It’s their right to do so, they have argued, and it is. That it is your right doesn’t make it right, though. And the most honorable pulpits are built on what’s right, not on it’s our rights.

No matter how true your point may be, Billy, credibility matters. And the organization for which you’re currently jawboning has precious little credibility on the subject of … well, on any subject other than golf, to be honest.

In light of this, then, we have three things to say about your self-righteous rant of Wednesday last:

1: Shut.

2: The fuck.

3: Up.

Maybe “all of us, and more importantly, our kids and our grandkids” are “disappointed” about the composition of your rich white boys club, too, and about the moral message it sends to those who believe in things like fair play.

Are we clear?

6 replies »

  1. Sometimes a thing needs saying even though it should be so obvious as not to need saying.

    This upbraiding of Billy Payne and Augusta National as “moral arbiters” should not need saying. Their behavior towards women and people of color over the last 75+ years should make any attempt on their part to offer moral direction of ANY KIND laughable at best.

    Yet, it needed saying. And you said it well.

  2. I guess Augusta National is lucky that Tiger gave us something more important to talk about this year than their deplorable membership traditions/requirements. Martha Burk just can’t compete with a stable of mistresses (one of whom, reportedly, had to Google “Tiger Woods”).