From The Inbox

Readers shout down Miceli and Masters question

With few exceptions, Morning Read subscribers check 'no' regarding whether the Masters should change its name. And for those of you who wonder whether Alex Miceli is for real, well, judge for yourselves

I enjoy reading Alex Miceli but take exception to his article in Monday’s Morning Read (“Should Masters change its name?” June 29).

The answer is an emphatic “no.”

The word masters does not singularly connotate racism. This word has various meanings, and in the context of golf it is “complete knowledge or skill in an accomplishment.” We must not start down the path toward removing every word with meanings that can be bent to impute offense.

Changing the name of a golf tournament, tearing down a statue and redesigning a flag are all superficial. Real change occurs on a much deeper level: in our hearts. This begins in the home and not on the street.

I am neither black nor white, but I am privileged. I am privileged to have parents who have taught me to respect people of all cultures and creeds.

Dan Singh
Humacao, Puerto Rico

Alex Miceli and his ‘delusional nonsense’
Is Alex Miceli for real? (“Should Masters change its name?” June 29). He sounds like a lot of other weak-kneed politicians and gullible, cowardly corporations who have fallen for the fraud of the leftists crying “social justice,” “systemic racism,” “defund the police,” etc.

It’s all about power politics and disrupting the November election, fellas.

I thought you were a bit smarter than to allow this delusional nonsense to be published in Morning Read.

Gary Radford
Fayetteville, N.Y.

Stop feeling so guilty about ‘whiteness’
I certainly do not agree with the assertion made by Alex Miceli (“Should Masters change its name?” June 29).

He should get a life and quit feeling so guilty for his whiteness.

Tee Cambre
Orlando, Fla.

Stop kidding around, Miceli
You have got to be kidding, Alex Miceli (“Should Masters change its name?” June 29).

Anyone who thinks the name Masters is offensive is just showing his ignorance of the tournament’s name.

Tom Alexander
Shalimar, Fla.

Maybe it’s time to rewrite Henley’s ‘Invictus’
The word master has several meanings other than being a slave owner (“Should Masters change its name?” June 29).

Ever hear of a ship's master? What about a master bedroom? How about a master's degree? A master storyteller? A Master brand of padlock? How about poet William Ernest Henley’s “Invictus”: "I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul"?

I could go on, but you get the idea.

I am perplexed as to how anyone can think a golf tournament called the Masters has a connotation of slavery associated with it.

James A. Smith
Norfolk, Va.

Perhaps there was nothing under his hat
Didn’t Alex Miceli have anything else to pull out of the hat? (“Should Masters change its name?” June 29).

Tony Key
Aurora, Colo.

Ask and ye shall receive … and then some
Thank you for the thought-provoking piece by Alex Miceli (“Should Masters change its name?” June 29).

I wonder whether the question would have been asked before what is now occurring in the country, and it had been asked of Tiger Woods, Harold Varner ||| or other black golfers, what their response would have been. And would their responses be any different today?

I wonder whether Charlie Sifford or Calvin Peete ever considered or thought about suggesting a name change?

I will be quite interested in the tone of the responses you receive to the piece.

I trust you will share the comments that come in.

I plan to share your piece with my golfing friends.

Bill Perry
Monmouth Junction, N.J.

Not cool
If the name Eskimo Pie is a problem, everything is fair game (“Should Masters change its name?” June 29).

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.

Place focus where it belongs
I was very disappointed at the suggestion that Augusta National change the name of its tournament (“Should Masters change its name?” June 29).

Where do we go from there? Do the legion of people who worked to attain their master’s degree in their specialty need to change it? Does the governing body of the card game called bridge need to change the name of master points given to accomplished players? How about the cigar company that produces Dutch Masters? Are we talking about removing this offensive word from dictionaries?

If the tournament reverted to its original name, would we object to the word invitational? Would people assume that blacks, Jews, Catholics and Hispanics would not be “invited”?

I’m not suggesting that racism be condoned in any form or fashion. That is the word that we truly want to eliminate.

Cary B. Sternberg
The Villages, Fla.

The Cosmic Key to the universe
This is getting stupid (“Should Masters change its name?” June 29). The word master is used in many different situations, and to conclude that it somehow is inherently racist is absurd.

Have these people never heard of a master electrician or a master plumber? The connotation here is someone with superior expertise in that field. We also frequently use it to show individual achievement, as in, “He mastered the art of …” I don't think using the word master in these situations brings forth images of a cotton plantation, with slaves working in the fields.

If so, then let's start by renaming movies. We can't have “Masters of the Universe" anymore, as it obviously is racist.

Mark Liquorman
Land O’ Lakes, Fla.

With Miceli’s guidance, we’ll straighten things out
Hmmm. Let’s see. No more Mastercard. No more master’s degrees. No Jedi masters. Surely you can think of more (“Should Masters change its name?” June 29).

We’ll get this fixed!

Chuck Arnold
Modesto, Calif.

That’s it for Miceli
This will be the last article by Alex Miceli that I will read (“Should Masters change its name?” June 29).

Miceli sold himself out. He should be ashamed. Most white men are not racist, as he suggests. In fact, I am insulted. Maybe Miceli is, but he doesn’t speak for the rest of the world.

As far as being white-privileged, again, Miceli doesn’t speak for the rest of us. I grew up on welfare, food stamps and without a father figure. I took responsibility for myself and my actions. I went to school every day and joined the Army because I couldn’t afford college. I had no special grants or scholarships. I was white, so I had to earn my way into college.

I worked for everything that I have. Nothing was given to me. I was responsible for myself and the family I raised.

Miceli sold out.

Jim Kneipp
Toms River, N.J.

Coming soon to Morning Read: Introduction to bow ties
Having read columns by Alex Miceli for years, I often disagree with him, but I respect his sentiment and point of view.

Having the good fortune of attending many Masters Tournaments, I believe it is the defining component of uplifting and improving the lives of Augusta, Ga., residents and communities within 50 miles of Augusta National Golf Club (“Should Masters change its name?” June 29).

The prices Augusta National has paid for real estate in the immediate area and the income that residents derive from the event probably have lifted hundreds of thousands out of poverty. The name of the event is the Masters, but it is referring to the skills of the competitors, not some fictional reference somebody wants to twist it into. With some time and a thesaurus, I’m sure that I could twist Miceli’s previous columns into something completely unintended.

I would like to address a few elements of Miceli’s commentary and what struck me hardest. For a guy who generally likes the role of the Lone Ranger, with an ego that might not fit in the Grand Canyon, the fact that Miceli let anybody define him left me dumbstruck. So, if I now defined him as a “misguided rube,” would he rehash his life story to check it?

It’s said that experience is the best teacher, so ignoring or attempting to hide history is eliminating the best teacher of how we have evolved. Hopefully we all aspire never to repeat the mistakes that history teaches us.

I can appreciate that the primary accuser of Miceli is his daughter and that her opinions on the subject carry great weight with him. The fact that she is a lawyer proves that he made a great investment in her future, but also in revealing himself. Lawyers are trained in the law, but more importantly on how to present arguments to sway people’s thoughts and opinions. Not sure? Check out O.J. Simpson.

Thankfully, Miceli works in an advertising model, so he can now confirm how easy it is, with the proper spokesperson, how that influence can change a person’s thoughts, behaviors and opinions. He just shrank the Grand Canyon and made the Lone Ranger disappear, all in one column. Well done.

This is the trouble with today’s media. Somebody lays a narrative on Miceli, and he probably wasted days of his life, twisting himself into a pretzel while trying to prove he might be right. Next time, for the betterment of Morning Read’s subscribers, teach us how to properly choose and tie a bow tie. We would become more informed and better for that knowledge.

David Hofer
Davie, Fla.

‘Golfer of color’ sides with Miceli
I much appreciated the article by Alex Miceli, as well as his sentiment (“Should Masters change its name?” June 29).

As a golfer of color who has been privileged to play many wonderful courses in the U.S. and abroad, I can recount numerous instances wherein my “gentlemanly sensibilities” have been severely tested.

Sometimes overt acts, comments and attitudes, as often I am sure, that many offenders were certainly not aware of their offensive behavior.

Beautiful, challenging courses with rich histories that include the word “Plantation” in their name are inherently offensive and racist, and I and my black golfer friends do not play them.

Of course, our choice not to patronize these courses actually in many ways is counterproductive.

The many attempts to get our white brothern to understand that no great round of golf belies the visceral feeling of walking a true, “Plantation” course falls on deaf ears.

How tiring it is to hear repeatedly that it’s “only a name.”

Hence, I suspect that the “Masters” discussion will receive minimally much of the same reaction.

I am sure that the few professional black golfers who were denied the right to play as well as the black caddies and service workers at the Masters over the years never felt the affinity for the Masters moniker that the white-golfer world did and does.

Neal Allen
Johannesburg, South Africa

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