One of golf’s four “major” tournaments every year is called “The Masters.” The field of golfers is the smallest of all the majors — only the best allowed — and the winner can be deemed “The Master” (plus, he gets a cool green jacket that every pro golfer covets).
But one writer at Deadspin has decided that the tournament’s name is racist and should be changed.
Rob Parker wrote a piece headlined “We’ve Lived with ‘The Masters’ Name Long Enough.”
The name “The Masters” must go.
The heralded golf tournament, one of the four majors, needs to go back to its original name — the Augusta National Invitational. It became the Masters in 1939.
Tiger Woods, other big-time golfers and corporate sponsorships should demand it. In the current climate, with all the sweeping changes, it’s only right and just. Best of all, in this case, it’s a simple and smooth fix.
The Masters never felt good or even sounded good when you said it. And before we hear from the choir about tradition and history, save it. When that history and tradition is rooted in slavery, it shouldn’t be preserved and honored.
Augusta National was built on grounds that were once a slave plantation and was the property of a slave owner. And according to a 2019 New Yorker piece about the course, it’s believed that enslaved Blacks were housed on the property.
And be honest. When you hear anyone say the Masters, you think of slave masters in the South. There’s nothing else, nothing special. You don’t think of someone mastering the game of golf. When has anyone mastered golf?
Parker — who has a Masters degree (!) — then turns to the dictionary for support.
“Even at dictionary.com, one of the definitions you get for ‘master’ is ‘owner of a slave.’ It’s a dark reminder of America’s ugly past.”
Parker concludes by noting that NASCAR recently banned the Confederate flag. “If NASCAR can make such a dramatic change for the better, the people in golf can do the same. Change is easy when it’s done for the betterment of all,” Parker wrote.
Here’s the problem. “According to the Golf Channel, in the early 1930s, investment banker and co-founder Clifford Roberts suggested the tournament’s name be ‘The Masters’ as a reference to the ‘masters of golf’ who played in it, but legendary golfer and co-founder Bobby Jones ‘thought the name immodest.’ Years later, Roberts ultimately got his way and the name was changed in 1939,” The Blaze wrote.