Saturday, July 09, 2016

Women’s rights activist Martha Burk starts petition to move 2017 U.S. Women’s Open from Trump course

Trump Burk
Martha Burk has started a petition to get the 2017 U.S. Women's Open moved from Trump National in Bedminster, N.J. because of Donald Trump's comments about women. (Getty Images)
SAN MARTIN, Calif. – Martha Burk is urging people – even those who “don’t give a fig for golf” – to sign a petition calling for the USGA to move the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open from Trump National in Bedminster, N.J.
Burk made her case in a blog for The Huffington Post on Friday, which coincides with Round 2 of this year’s Women’s Open at CordeValle, citing opposition to business magnate Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president. Those in golf will recognize Burk from her 2002 protest of Augusta National, in which she called on the club to end its discrimination against women.
“Seems the United States Golf Association, no stranger to hypocrisy, refuses to move next year’s U.S. Women’s Open from the Trump-owned Bedminster club,” Burk wrote, “even though the USGA issued a public statement condemning Trump’s racist views after his “Mexican rapist” rant when he announced his candidacy.”
No LPGA players whom Golfweek asked for comment after their rounds at CordeValle, however, agreed with Burk’s call to move the event.
“Just because it has Trump’s name on it, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t play there,” said Jessica Korda, who competed at Trump National Bedminster in the 2009 U.S. Girls’ Junior.
England’s Mel Reid said she doesn’t necessarily agree with Trump’s values or policies and can understand why people would want to sign the petition. But, just as with the 2015 Ricoh Women’s British Open at Trump-owned Turnberry in Scotland, Reid doesn’t see the need to move the event.
“If it’s a good golf course, it’s a good golf course,” she said, calling it a shame that activists wanted to move an event from Turnberry.
Paula Creamer said what many LPGA players have said in the past: “Trump has done a lot for women’s golf.” For several years, Trump International hosted the season-ending ADT Championship in West Palm Beach, Fla. The tour’s year-end awards were given out at Trump’s posh Mar-a-Lago Club. Several prominent tour players are members of Trump’s courses.
“I’ve played that golf course,” Creamer said of Bedminster. “It’s amazing, and the people are amazing.”
USGA executive director Mike Davis told Golfweek in a statement that the organization’s focus is on conducting the “best championship” possible but did not mention the possibility of moving the event.
“During his presidential campaign, Mr. Trump has made some remarks that are at odds with our belief that golf should be welcoming and inclusive for all,” Davis said. “We have reiterated for more than a year that we do not share his views, and that is still true.”
The PGA of America cancelled last year’s Grand Slam of Golf exhibition at Trump National in Los Angeles after Trump’s remarks about illegal immigrants from Mexico.
Burk noted that the protest is taking place behind the scenes, referencing the black executives who recently resigned from their positions on the USGA’s Museum Committee.
It would seem, however, that Burk’s agenda won’t get much traction with LPGA players, who like with Turnberry in 2015, are mostly concerned with playing a golf good course.
“It’s just a golf course,” Angela Stanford said. “I don’t see the political tie. Some people do. Maybe I choose not to.”