From The Inbox

Give us the golf without social or political opinions

The PGA Tour and its players have no business expressing their social or political opinions while competing, reader contends in rebutting Alex Miceli’s ‘One Take’ video

Once again, Alex Miceli misses the mark when he says the PGA Tour and its players should be speaking out regarding the current social environment in the country (“One Take: PGA Tour misses chance to lead,” Sept. 1).

Whether it’s on the gridiron, basketball court, baseball diamond, ice rink or golf course, I want to watch the athletes who perform at the highest level in their particular sport. I want to be entertained. What I don’t want is their social or political opinions. We get far too much of that in our lives every day as it is.

Though I’m stating my personal opinion, it is my guess that there are many others who feel as I do.

I sincerely hope that the PGA Tour continues to deliver what it does best. Give us golf at the highest level, by the best in the world, and leave the social and political commentary to other platforms.

Bill Boutwell
Jacksonville, Fla.

Attaboy, Miceli
I just want to acknowledge Alex Miceli’s excellent piece on the lack of action from the PGA Tour during this time of need for leadership (“One Take: PGA Tour misses chance to lead,” Sept. 1).

Thank you, Alex.

John M. Sullivan
Hull, Mass.

Steer clear of political opinion, Miceli, and stay in your lane
Why would the PGA Tour want to alienate half of its audience by taking a political stand on any subject? It might come as a shock to some readers, but opinions usually have two or more sides (“One Take: PGA Tour misses chance to lead,” Sept. 1).

The PGA Tour gives millions to charities. The charitable giving is unique in all of professional sports. The PGA Tour is a decent and compassionate organization. Please stay above politics.

I thought that golf journalists wrote about golf; that football, basketball, baseball and other journalists wrote about their area of expertise; that political pundits pontificated about politics; and that news journalists reported the news.

Sports journalists have personal opinions about politics, and pundits and news journalists have opinions about sports. All of us have opinions, but stay in your lane. I don’t want to read a golf article laced with the political observations of the author. As well-intended and conscious-driven that these opinions might be, they are, after all, just opinions.

If Alex Miceli thinks his self-importance needs recognition, then he should get on a different platform and have at it.

What credibility would a political pundit have in giving his opinion about Dustin Johnson’s bent left wrist at the top of his backswing? I think most of us would say that he might be a little out of his lane.

Jerry Adams
The Woodlands, Texas

That’s no way to attract fans
Golf, the seemingly only major sport to eschew politics in its programing, is being pressured by some analysts to subject its viewers to a political/social element (“One Take: PGA Tour misses chance to lead,” Sept. 1). Thus far, the PGA Tour and its players have recognized that fans already are excessively exposed to the “message.”

Other major sports have alienated many fans, including me, who never again will tune in to a football, basketball or baseball game. Proselytizing a political message does nothing to enhance the game or social awareness. It does, however, detract from the enjoyment that fans experience when watching athletic prowess, absent social statements.

Kudos to the PGA Tour and the players for recognizing that many fans are put off by displays beyond the game they tune in to enjoy.

Aside from the inappropriateness of showcasing players' political persuasions, I contend it would polarize the field, encourage post-COVID on-course fan activism, affect some players' performance and produce a significant loss in fan base, as has occurred in other sports.

The PGA Tour is no place for armbands, contrasting shoes and post-play social statements. The PGA Tour needs to resist pressure that the Alex Micelis of the sports world so ardently want to introduce.

Bob Baribeau
Naples, Fla.

You’re wrong about the LPGA, too, Miceli
Simmer down, Alex Miceli (“LPGA stymies Sophia Popov with arcane rule,” Aug. 31).

Mike Whan is totally correct in not altering rules midseason on behalf of Sophia Popov's major win (“Sophia Popov goes from caddie to LPGA major champion,” Aug. 24).

o, now the world is watching, Miceli wrote. Righto, to see whether Whan throws a bone to Caucasian Popov, thereby slapping those in the face with surnames such as Shibuno, Chun, Shin and Kim?

Geez, I wonder why the others didn't present a similar Cinderella story?

Get your head out of the sand, Miceli.

Popov, to her credit, seems to get it. Forget the knee-jerk Twitter-verse, which most folks are not a part of anyway.

I like Paige Mackenzie's response on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” recently, when she was asked whether or not the rule should be changed: “Perhaps.”

Let's not create a bigger fiasco by trying to prematurely fix this one.

Lori Bellitt
The Villages, Fla.

If LPGA acts, it should go beyond Popov
I can see both sides of the argument about the LPGA’s five-year exemption, as expressed by Ian Poulter and Mike Whan (“LPGA stymies Sophia Popov with arcane rule,” Aug. 31).

What makes no sense to me, from a fairness or optics perspective, would be to change the rule and have it apply only to Sophia Popov.

If or when the LPGA decides to expand the five-year exemption, it also should look back at least to Hyo Joo Kim, the 2014 Evian champion, and grant the similarly situated major winners with additional three-year exemptions.

They might not “need” the exemption extension, but not granting it to them while addressing the Popov situation would be a very bad look for the worldwide organization.

Fritz Schranck
Rehoboth Beach, Del.
(Schranck is the golf columnist for The Cape Gazette in Lewes, Del.)

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