From The Inbox

Justin Thomas responds like a champ

Reader questions Ralph Lauren’s dismissal of the PGA Tour star after his slur in what could have been ‘a teaching moment’

There were two ways in which Ralph Lauren could've handled the Justin Thomas incident (“Justin Thomas pays price for slur,” Jan. 18):

1.  The fashionable way (no pun intended): by “canceling” him for non-conformance.

2.  The other way: by using his mistake as a teaching moment and continuing their association.

I would argue that Thomas' immediate, post-round response to the matter was unusually powerful in today's world of sociopolitical statement-making.   

Through my eyes and ears, it was one of the most sincere apologies in memory. It was a clear admission of wrongdoing that did not appear in any way to be fake, forced, rehearsed or written and approved by a public-relations team (as far too many “apologies” seem to be). Nor did he attempt to minimize the incident by blaming it on microphones, guy-talk or whatever. By all indications, it was straight from his heart. 

The net result of that sincerity was a very strong message about right vs. wrong that shed far more positive light on Thomas' character than his unfortunate slur shed negative light.    

On a larger scale, it was a real-world situation that drew attention to an important social issue in a way in which activists, educators, politicians and media cannot.   

I understand the pressure corporations face to comply with the cancel-culture agenda and don't think Ralph Lauren was necessarily wrong – breaking ties obviously was the safest route to take – but considering Thomas' immediate, heartfelt response to the issue, I don't think it was the only choice they had. 

If I owned a golf-wear company, I'd have little problem associating with Justin Thomas right now. Not because of what he said, but because of how he handled what he said. 

Jim Westerman
Hanover Park, Ill. 

Equipment inspection
Alex Miceli wrote in his piece on Jack Nicklaus’ 81st birthday that Nicklaus played with “substandard” equipment (“Jack Nicklaus, golf’s greatest champion, turns 81,” Jan. 21).

Nicklaus played MacGregor woods and irons, which were standard bearer of that era. Ben Hogan played MacGregor woods and irons. Do you think that a perfectionist such as Hogan would have played “substandard” equipment?

If Miceli thinks that Nicklaus’ achievements were curtailed by his equipment, maybe Tom Watson would have won more majors if he hadn’t played Ram clubs. Or how many more could Gary Player have won if he hadn’t taken Shakespeare’s money to play its clubs? And how far past Nicklaus would Tiger Woods be if he didn’t play Nike clubs during his prime?

Which brings me to a discussion we often have in our group. If Woods in his prime played in Nicklaus’ era, with that era’s equipment, balls, course conditions and competition … and Nicklaus in his prime played in Woods’ era, with era’s equipment, balls, course conditions and competition ... who would have won more majors?

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.

Settling down
That was a nice article by Alex Miceli on the “GOAT,” Jack Nicklaus (“Jack Nicklaus, golf’s greatest champion, turns 81,” Jan. 21).

Miceli seems a little calmer now that President Donald Trump is out of office.

Larry Ashe
Chicago

Keeping golf in perspective
Recently, readers Mike Smith and Blaine Walker shared their thoughts with the Morning Read constituents about various issues in the golf world (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 19, Jan. 20).

Both letters are worthy of rereading periodically, to keep golf in perspective.

There’s no need to have political bias and the egregious "woke" movement bleed into the enjoyment of golf and Morning Read.

Dave Richner
St. Johns, Fla.

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