Journalist Tara Sullivan of the Bergen Record was denied entry to The Master’s locker room on Sunday, after a female security guard told her that women were not allowed into the men’s locker room.Her fellow women journalists (and some men) were up in arms, naturally, as such a policy not only goes against the rules of sports locker rooms everywhere, but would be a violation of federal law. (Women journalists must be given equal access to do their jobs.)
But all the anger at Augusta National — a golf club that does not allow female members — is totally misplaced. It’s not their fault that a female journalist would be discriminated against while trying to cover the biggest golf tournament of the year.
It’s also our fault. It’s the fault of everyone who watches, attends, covers, plays in, or in any way supports The Masters.
Augusta National is a sexist organisation. Everyone knows this. The fact that it holds a prestigious and lucrative golf tournament for four days a year doesn’t change that fact. Yet every spring, we all line up to take part in its biggest day.
Years ago, Martha Burk and the National organisation for Women tried to change our minds. They outed the club’s members and challenged the PGA’s best players to take a stand.
It didn’t work. We’d rather have our golf.
That’s why no one who watched The Masters this weekend has the right to be angry about Tara Sullivan’s treatment. Augusta National Golf Club discriminates against Tara Sullivan every day of the year. So does CBS, ESPN, the PGA, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Charl Schwartzel, anyone who has ever put on a green jacket, and every golfer who willingly enters the tournament to try and take their prize money.
Until the rest of the world starts discriminating against them, that’s never going to change.