“We are in a political situation that we did not create,” said Seth Waugh, CEO of the PGA of America, in a telephone interview. “We are trustees for our members, for the game, for our mission and for our brand. And how do we best protect that? Given the tragic events of Wednesday, our feeling was that we could no longer hold it in Bedminster. The damage could have been irreparable. The only real course of action was to leave. “
The PGA of America, with around 29,000 golf professionals mainly teaching the game, signed the contract with Trump National in 2014.
It canceled the 2015 PGA Grand Slam of Golf at Trump National Los Angeles Golf Club after Trump made derogatory remarks about Mexican immigrants when he announced he was seeking Republicans’ presidential nomination. The event was finally canceled the following spring.
Wednesday’s shocking uprising rocked the country and golfing circles quickly focused attention on whether the PGA of America would keep its first championship – and one of golf’s four major championships – in Trump’s place in 2022.
“Our decision wasn’t about speed or timing,” said Waugh. “What is most important to our board and leadership is protecting our brand and reputation, and our members’ ability to direct the growth of the game, which they do in their communities through so many powerful programs.”
Trump had given his supporters a speech in which he repeatedly made unsubstantiated claims that the election had been stolen from him and urged them to “fight”.
They stormed the US Capitol as lawmakers certified President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. After forcing their way into the house, the violent people ransacked the building and sent in frightened staff and lawmakers. Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died.
A new ABC News / Ipsos poll The report released on Sunday found that 67% of those polled said Trump deserved a “good amount” or a “large amount” of guilt for the insurrection.