Monday, June 8

MORNING READ: Golf Writer Farrell Evans on Golf and Race in America

FARRELL EVANS WROTE ABOUT GOLF for Sports Illustrated and ESPN.com. More recently, Evans co-founded two organizations that use the game of golf to help underserved youth.

via @FarrellEvans75
In MORNING READ last week, Evans reflected on golf and race, including his own experience entering country clubs and other golf spaces as a black man.
In my own career as a golf writer, race always has been a central theme in my work. From the time I started the game as a 9-year-old growing up in Georgia, I understood the sport's racial legacy. I knew there were places that I couldn't play because of the color of my skin. I also knew that black people had built their own professional tour, golf clubs and associations. As an adult, I would learn as a black male that my mere presence at certain country clubs as a guest could elicit stares and questions from members and staff.
I was surprised recently when Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour's commissioner, said he struggled with what his role should be in addressing some of the hardships and injustices faced by black Americans. Monahan said that he had conversations with members of the black community to "better understand the current crisis and the systemic racism that they grapple with on a daily basis." He went on to say that this was the time for "listening and making a commitment to understand." 
What country has he been living in all of his life? 
How can you live in America without having a basic understanding of the pernicious legacy of slavery and Jim Crow? What does he think Martin Luther King Jr. was speaking about at the March on Washington or fighting for during the civil-rights movement? Where was he during the L.A. riots in 1992? 
He need not look further for understanding than the history of the PGA Tour and the travails of Charlie Sifford to break the PGA of America's "Caucasians only" clause in 1961. Surely, he knows the stories of Sifford, Lee Elder and other black golfing pioneers who systematically were excluded from the game because of their skin color.
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