Sports | April 5, 2021 10:32 am

Unlike MLB, PGA Won’t Pull Tour Championship From Georgia Over Controversial Voting Law

The Tour Championship will go on as planned in August

PGA Tour Will Stream Every Shot by Every Golfer at Players Championship
A general view of the PGA Logo during the PGA Championship. (Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty)
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In the latest example of professional golf generally staying out of the fray when it comes to political matters, the PGA Tour has announced it won’t be pulling the season-ending Tour Championship from Georgia over the state’s controversial voting law.

The state’s adoption of SB 202, which places restrictions on mail-in voting and prohibits handing out food and water to voters standing in line to cast their ballots, caused Major League Baseball to move July’s All-Star Game from Truist Park in Atlanta.

Citing pre-existing financial commitments to the local community, the PGA Tour will not follow the same route with its Tour Championship.

“The Tour Championship’s commitment to East Lake has helped our partners transform distressed neighborhoods into healthy and thriving ones, which is a key to ending the cycle of intergenerational poverty,” the PGA Tour said in its statement. “The charitable and economic benefits that have led to these substantial changes would not continue if we simply walked away from those in need.”

Though it didn’t move the event, the Tour did pay lip service to the controversial voting law.

“The PGA Tour fully supports efforts to protect the right of all Americans to vote and to eliminate any barriers that may prevent citizens’ voices from being heard and counted,” the statement said. “It is the foundation of our great country and a critical national priority to listen to the concerns about voter suppression — especially from communities of color that have been marginalized in the past — and work together to make voting easier for all citizens.”

By keeping the Tour Championship in Georgia, the PGA will avoid facing the wrath of state Governor Brian Kemp, who lashed out at MLB over the weekend about the All-Star Game being removed from Atlanta.

“Yesterday, Major League Baseball caved to fear and lies from liberal activists,” Kemp said at a Saturday news conference. “In the middle of a pandemic, Major League Baseball put the wishes of Stacey Abrams and Joe Biden ahead of the economic well-being of hard-working Georgians who were counting on the All-Star Game for a paycheck.”

The final FedEx Cup playoff event, the Tour Championship is played annually at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta and will take place as planned in August. The Masters, which will begin this week at Georgia’s Augusta National Golf Club, will also go off without a hitch, though chairman Fred Ridley is expected to address the voting law before the tournament begins.

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