Pro Golfer Says Trump’s Racist Comments On Immigrants Don’t Negate ‘All He’s Done… To Better Golf’

Donald Trump on the course. CREDIT: AP
Donald Trump on the course. CREDIT: AP

Golfer Phil Mickelson told reporters this week that Donald Trump’s characterization of Mexican immigrants as rapists “doesn’t take away from all that he’s done to try to help better golf.” Mickelson then praised Trump for revamping various golf courses around the world.

Earlier this month, Trump boasted that people in the “golf world” were supporting him because they “all know I’m right” about Mexican immigrants.

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists,” Trump said during his announcement in June.

Mickelson did say that he doesn’t “agree” with Trump’s comments on immigrants but still “appreciates” the reality TV star and business man. Mickelson said Trumps comments, which were widely perceived is racists and prompted a slew of major corporations to sever ties, put him in a “tough spot.”

The Professional Golf Association (P.G.A.) Of America is taking a more forceful approach to Trump. The organization has decided to move the “Grand Slam Of Golf,” a high profile exhibition featuring the winners of the four major championships, from Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles. ESPN also announced it was moving its July 14 “Celebrity Gold Classic” off of the same course.

The women’s golf association, the L.P.G.A., is still planning to hold the Women’s British Open at a Trump course later this month because “a change in venue for this prestigious major simply isn’t feasible.”

The various professional gold organizations released a join statement distancing themselves from Trump’s comments. “[T]he LPGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour and USGA do not usually comment on presidential politics, Mr. Trump’s comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf,” they wrote in a joint statement.

There are three major championships scheduled at Trump courses through 2022.