Civil rights group requires PGA Tour, Masters to drag occasion from Augusta Nationwide in protest of Georgia’s new voting law

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is calling on the PGA Tour and Masters Tournament to withdraw the upcoming event from the Augusta National Golf Club in response to the recent passage of Georgia’s Voters Act SB 202.

The NBJC is also urging professional golfers to boycott Georgia gaming until the bill is repealed.

David J. Johns, executive director of NBJC, said the law was created to restrict the voting rights of black and disenfranchised voters in Georgia.

“Georgia’s new law restricting electoral access aims to turn back civil rights and return black and poor and already disenfranchised voters in Georgia to second-class citizens,” Johns told Golfweek in a statement. “This is an unacceptable attack on our democracy and companies operating in Georgia must speak out against this restrictive law.

“The PGA Tour and Masters tournament are both committed to helping diversify the sport of golf and eradicating racial inequalities in the country. We expect them not only to speak out against Georgia’s new law to suppress racist voters, but also to take action . “

Ahead of the Masters tournament last November, Augusta National, long known for its gender and race exclusivity, announced scholarships on behalf of the first black man to compete in the Masters tournament, Lee Elder, at the Augusta Historically Black Paine College. It also invited him to be an honorary starter for the 2021 Masters along with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.

The club began hosting the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, Augusta National’s first ever women’s tournament, in 2019. It returns next month after being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Joe Biden, who publicly condemned bills such as the Georgia Bill as “un-American” and “sick” in a press conference Thursday, called Georgia’s new electoral law an “atrocity” on Friday.

“You don’t need anything else to know that this is nothing more than punishment to keep people from voting,” said Biden.

The story goes on

Georgia governor Brian Kemp said HB 202, which he signed Thursday, will make Georgia elections “safe, accessible and fair”.

Changes to the 96-page bill, one of the many GOP-backed nominations across the country following the 2020 elections, include a new photo ID requirement to be absent in the mail after more than 1.3 million in November Georgians absent voted had choice. The bill also shortens the length of time voters must request a postal vote, as well as the limits on which ballot boxes can be placed and when they can be accessed.

“Professional golf should not reward Georgia’s attacks on democracy and voting rights with the millions of dollars in revenue the tournament generates and the prestige it brings to the state,” said Johns. “We must all act to protect our democracy and the right to vote.”

Neither Augusta National nor the PGA Tour have publicly commented on the NBJC’s request.

This isn’t the only movement in sport that the new legislation affects. The Hill and other media outlets report that Atlanta’s 91st Major League Baseball All-Star Game, scheduled for July, may be postponed after the state’s Republican-controlled State House passed the controversial electoral law on Thursday.

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