Tiger Woods has recently been called upon by The New York Times to forego The Masters unless the Augusta National gold course admits women. Tim Sullivan, in a recent column (“Fairway of Fair Play For Tiger”, Nov. 22, 2002, The Hoya, p.12), applauded this editorial. To express my opinion right out, I think that his article is ridiculous. To push this responsibility on Tiger Woods is ludicrous. While other athletes in the past have chosen to place a comparable responsibility on themselves, never has a public community asked a specific person (as opposed to a group of persons, like the entire PGA) to take such a stand against maltreatment against a specific group of persons.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I completely disagree with Augusta’s policy on admission of women. While they are a private group and are legally allowed to admit anyone they choose (and, thus, are allowed to deny admittance to anyone they choose), they should admit women as well as all minorities. But to place on one person the responsibility of asking a private club to admit women against its own will (no matter how important Tiger may be) is ridiculous. Did the press ask Joe Louis to speak out against and boycott any boxing championships in protest of the oppression of blacks in the 1930s and 40s? Did they actually ask Muhammad Ali not to accept the draft for the Vietnam War? Did they ask Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Lee Trevino, Arnold Palmer or Tom Kite to speak out against any club’s refusal to admit members of a certain minority? The answer is no. We have no right to say that Tiger owes it to society to refuse to play in The Masters, golf’s most prestigious event. There are other sports clubs in America that do not allow women to join: the NBA, NHL, MLB, NFL and others, but do we ask Michael Jordan, Mario Lemieux, Derek Jeter or Brett Favre not to play in their respective championships (to which The Masters is comparable) because their “clubs” do not allow women? No. And do you know why? Because groups like the WNBA exist. Because women’s boxing exists. Because professional softball exists. And golf clubs that allow men, women, blacks, Hispanics, Asians and all other minorities exist.

Now, I would like to repeat, I do not support or endorse Augusta’s refusal to allow women to join on a personal level. I believe it to be unfair and unjust. But, I believe it to be a far greater injustice to ask Tiger Woods, one person on the PGA, to take a stand against Augusta. What about Phil Mickelson? Sergio Garcia? Ernie Els? Colin Montgomerie? Vijay Singh (himself a non-white male member of the PGA)? Why not ask them?

And guess what else? Muirfield, a common site of the British Open and a club that was founded in 1744, has never allowed women into its club. Yet, no one seems to notice this similar problem. They allow women as guests, just as Augusta does. Yet, this is not on a single person’s mind in America. Why? Because the press is asking Tiger to take up this task to gain attention. That is the only reason. Tiger Woods should not say a single thing about Augusta. Just as politicians and lawyers are able to nonchalantly use the phrase “No Comment,” so should Tiger. While he may have his own opinion, Tiger’s opinion is none of the public’s business, and he absolutely has no responsibility in the matter. Please stop placing obligations on him as if you knew what is best for him to do. It is demeaning and rude. And, finally, it is good to see Tim Sullivan citing Muhammad Ali’s breaking of the law as an example of leadership. Maybe we should all move to Canada and support anarchy in the United States.

Tyler Copeland is a junior in the College.

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