If it’s fair for Christine Brennan to stereotype golf as a domain almost exclusively for one socio-economic group, does that make it fair to categorize most journalists as purveyors of fake news?
Of course, it doesn’t.
Stereotypes are the waste product of a closed mind. Having been around journalism and golf for over 40 years, it’s been my experience that both statements are far from absolute, more the exception than the rule.
Brennan apparently disagrees when it comes to golf.
“A Trump-loving, rich white man’s game, mostly; a sport almost completely out of touch with what’s happening in this diverse land outside the walls of its exclusive country clubs and the windows of its private jets,” she wrote in this opinion piece for Golfweek.
The target of Brennan’s venom is hall of famer Annika Sorenstam, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Jan. 7, a day after former President Donald Trump touched off a riot at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
Sorenstam was actually supposed to receive the highest civilian honour in the United States nearly a year ago, but the ceremony was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gary Player and the late Babe Didrikson Zaharias were also recognized in a White House ceremony.
You decide for yourself whether Sorenstam should have accepted it from Trump.
Brennan is entitled to her opinion on that matter, but whatever way you go on this topic, should an incident involving one of the game’s best known players cast a shadow over the millions who play golf, or work within it?
The term “golf” applies to municipal courses, public courses, private courses, associations, golf club manufacturers and apparel companies and not just the professional tours that Brennan is focused on for purposes of the attached column.
Is it really possible that all, or even a great majority, of people who play or work in golf are in that upper income bracket she talks about or espouse the same political beliefs?
If I recall correctly, Trump isn’t the only former President to play the game. Others include Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Would you seriously classify them as Trump lovers?
Brennan accuses Sorenstam of using “embarrassing, insipid clichés,” to explain why she accepted an award she’d earned, but the accuser is guilty of doing the same in a description of golf that is rooted in the past in which she says the game is hopelessly mired.
The reality is that during the COVID-19 pandemic, golf has been a haven for those who were already in the game and those who do have open minds who were willing to check out a game that was considered safe to play with proper precautions.
Whether a person could get on the course had more to do with whether a tee time was available than anything else. Everyone’s money is that same colour and that’s good for business. No matter the ethnicity, religion, gender, age or political beliefs of patrons, the recent popularity of the game is something operators desire to keep going this year and beyond.
That is why labelling an entire industry under the general term “golf” is a sensitive subject. It won’t stop the game from moving forward.
However, evolving is something anyone who stereotypes people by a game they play or work within should consider themselves.