From The Inbox

Ralph Lauren’s response doesn't wear well with reader

Society’s collective thin skin results in a poor-fitting response from clothier to an apologetic Justin Thomas, reader contends

It is unfortunate that Golf Channel’s invasive audio TV coverage of the PGA Tour’s Tournament of Champions eavesdropped on Justin Thomas' self-abasing “slur” and in so doing prompted Ralph Lauren to drop him from the company’s sponsorship (“Justin Thomas pays price for slur,” Jan. 18).

It seems as if some of us are way too sensitive to any such possible ethnic, racial, sexual, religious – you name it – “slurs." Moreover, Thomas quickly offered what seemed to be a legitimate, sincere apology. It was not one ultimately fabricated by his management group.

I am all for social justice and respect, but this just was not a big deal in the ultimate scheme of anything socially significant and did no damage to anyone else.

TV’s insistence on micro-observing and micro-listening to active competitors has unearthed utterances that almost any of us playing the game has used and would have thus been deemed guilty. It seems that our society has developed much too thin of a skin and also has forgotten how to forgive without extracting its pound of flesh.

I, for one, never will purchase another Ralph Lauren product, and I am sure that Thomas soon will find a clothing sponsor that not only will be more forgiving but likely will produce better golf wear as well.

Bob Cushing
Carmel, Calif.

Justin Thomas is out of his league regarding slurs
None of us can condone publicly a person using a pejorative, inflammatory or proactive slur, but I hope that NBC does voice checks on other sports that it broadcasts (“Justin Thomas pays price for slur,” Jan. 18).

Having sat in the expensive seats at NBA and NFL events, I have heard players taunt one another with much worse racial terms and other slang than the language that Justin Thomas uttered. I’m not condoning Thomas' remarks but asking for a little perspective here.

Maybe Nike and the other uniform makers should drop the NBA, NFL and MLB teams’ contracts. It doesn't take a probing mic to listen to foul language by athletes from those leagues. Hold on to your seat in college basketball and football. 

Tiger Woods “F bombs” often after a poor effort, but Nike has not dropped his sponsorship. And NBC hangs on his every move, whether it be a shot or something from decades past. Announcers even apologize for him. They don't call him out for taking my savior’s name in vain when he makes a poor shot, all the while claiming to be Buddhist.

Woods is one of the greatest golfers, but his tarnished off-course behavior was much worse than a slur. He's still packing Nike, TaylorMade, et al.

Alex Miceli, are you calling for other sponsors to fire Tiger Woods, or is your fake bravado only for Thomas? (“One Take: Don’t blame Ralph Lauren,” Jan. 19).

Patrick Scott
Lakewood Ranch, Fla.

America and golf offer opportunities to all
Please explain why the PGA of America should cut ties with President Donald Trump. What a joke. (“Golf needs to take a stand against Donald Trump,” Jan. 8; “It’s beginning of end for Donald Trump’s golf empire,” Jan. 12).

On Jan. 6, Trump’s words did not incite the president’s followers to storm into the U.S. Capitol. Anyone who has read the transcript or listened to Trump’s speech would know this to be true. The left just wants Trump out and everyone to agree with its agenda or be labeled a racist.

Trump has denounced white supremacy and violence, yet the left cheered on violence all summer long, and many, such as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, helped raise money for arrested protesters to bond out of jail.

Everyone in the U.S. has access to golf if he or she chooses to do so. It might not be in their neighborhood, but neither is skiing or yachting in my neighborhood. There are public golf courses all over the U.S. that allow everyone to play. This country is not racist, and neither is golf. Golf is color- and ethnicity-blind. I am white and do not belong to a super-nice golf club, or any club whatsoever. Do I call out racism because I can't afford it? No.

I have been reading the articles in Morning Read and the responses to Alex Miceli's commentary. Now we should change the name of the Masters (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 14). Wow. Where and what next? Defund the police, tear down Abraham Lincoln statues, change names of streets and buildings, succumb to all of Black Lives Matters’ demands or be a racist, open borders, etc. Change the Masters? To what? The Supers? The Greats? It won't matter. Those who claim the Masters and golf to be racist still would have a problem. They never are happy until they have everyone believing that they are victims and do not have the same opportunities as everyone else.

Every citizen in this country can be whoever or whatever he or she wants to be, given their God-given qualities. I can't be an NBA player, but I can play basketball. Nothing is given to anybody, and we all have to work at what we want to be and become. All of you who want things given or claim systemic racism, please let us know where, what or how you were deprived the same access as your neighbors across the way.   

Golf is not racist, and neither am I.

Mike Smith
El Paso, Texas
(Smith is a PGA of America member and the head golf professional at Ascarate Golf Course in El Paso.)

Lonesome liberal offers some grown-up advice
I see that some readers are upset that Morning Read published Alex Miceli’s views about the PGA of America ending its agreement with President Donald Trump (“Golf needs to take a stand against Donald Trump,” Jan. 8; “It’s beginning of end for Donald Trump’s golf empire,” Jan. 12).

To those objectors, I say, Grow up. My regular group of about 12 players is made up of conservatives and one liberal: me. Our conflicting political opinions have yet to cause stress to our relationship for one simple reason: We are adults. 

Clay Rouse
Florence, Miss.

No, you’re definitely not the only one
I thought it was just me, but after seeing the comments in Monday’s Morning Read, I apparently am not the only one. I highly recommend that Morning Read keep politics out of its content (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 18).

We get enough political views in everything else we see and read.

There has been way too much “woke” expression and content with Golf Channel.

It also is becoming very apparent in the leadership of the USGA and PGA of America. I am a sports enthusiast but have been losing my interest in most sports for the reasons I state above. Golf has been the last stop for me.

I was a long-time viewer of Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” show. I really liked it in the beginning, when different sports were covered, business news and many guests through the week covering products, swings and travel. It was pretty boring at the end of its tenure.

“Golf Today” feels horrible. Damon Hack and Shane Bacon cannot carry the show.

Bruce Poynter
Shreveport, La.

Don’t blame it on Hack
So, reader Charlie Jurgonis had to go to a website to find out to whom Golf Channel’s Damon Hack made a political contribution (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 18).

Is that now how we are to judge whether credence is to be given to a presenter? Based on whom or what they contribute to?

If one doesn't like a show or a presenter, exercise your American right and don't watch. But don't try to equate a presenter’s political donations with the quality of the product.

If Golf Channel is a “dumpster fire,” as Jurgonis claims, it's not because of the political contributions made by Damon Hack.

Duane Ragland
Homewood, Ill.

Let’s all just try to laugh it off
Three cheers to such an eloquent voice of reason from reader Beverly O’Fee (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 18).

I, too, chuckle frequently at the righteous indignation so prevalent in many of the letters in Morning Read.

Golf is a game that we play with friends and family. Try to keep that in mind.

And to reader Randy Reed, might I suggest that you take a deep breath and try to relax. There is no conspiracy in golf reporting.

Baird Heide
Bradford, Ontario

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