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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 2012, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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The (Golf) Masters: About To Be Embarrassed Again Because Of Women Membership BAN

Like any organization that resists change and find any argument to justify their stand, the people at August have saying for year that their members are not ready to accept women membership.

Well a funny thing is about to happen.
IBM CEO, a major sponsor of the tournament is usually automatically accepted as member.


Usually, because, it turns out, except if the CEO is a woman.
Obviously, the folks at Augusta never though that far ahead. It never crossed their mind that a woman would some day become a CEO of IBM, since the last have been all men.


What do you think?

Out of curiosity, who do the current golfers have to say?
Especially Tiger Woods, Phil Michelson, but also all the other non-white American players.

Quote:

CEO revives Augusta no-women membership debate



In this Feb. 16, 2006 file photo, Virginia Rometty, at the time an IBM senior vice president, speaks in New York. (AP Photo/Dima Gavrysh, File)







(CBS/AP) As a club that prides itself on tradition, Augusta National has unwittingly wound up in the middle of a membership debate it thought it was done with nearly a decade ago.


Just seven days before the Masters, no less.
The last four chief executives of IBM — a longtime corporate sponsor of the Masters — have been members of the exclusive golf club in Augusta, Ga. The latest CEO of the computer giant happens to be a woman. Virginia Rometty was appointed this year.
One problem — a woman has never worn a member's green jacket since Augusta National opened in 1933.
"I think they're both in a bind," Martha Burk said Thursday evening.




Masters: Burk among top 10 most influential people
Burk spearheaded a campaign 10 years ago for the club to admit a female member, applying pressure on just about everyone connected with the club and with the Masters, the major championship that garners the highest TV ratings. She demanded that four companies drop their television sponsorship because of discrimination. She lobbied PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem not to recognize the Masters as part of the tour schedule.


But it didn't work.
Hootie Johnson, chairman of the club back then, said Augusta might one day have a female member, but it would be on the club's timetable, and "not at the point of a bayonet." The protest fizzled in a parking lot down the street during the third round of the 2003 tournament.
Now it's back, and this time it has a face — Rometty, a 31-year veteran of IBM who has been ranked among the "50 Most Powerful Women in Business" by Fortune magazine the last seven years. Rometty was No. 7 last year.


What's the next step?
Augusta National declined to comment, keeping with its policy of not discussing membership issues. IBM has not commented publicly, and did not return a phone call Thursday night.


"IBM is in a bigger bind than the club," Burk said. "The club trashed their image years ago. IBM is a corporation. They ought to care about the brand, and they ought to care about what people think. And if they're not careful, they might undermine their new CEO."
Augusta has a new chairman in Billy Payne, who ran the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. When he replaced Johnson as chairman of the club and of the Masters tournament in 2006, he said there was "no specific timetable" for admitting women.




The question was raised at the 2007 and 2010 Masters. Both times, Payne said membership issues were private.
CBSports.com senior golf columnist Steve Elling says Rometty provides Augusta National the perfect opportunity to end its policy for good. He predicts that Payne offers Rometty a membership -- a few days after the Masters ends next week.



"She shows up at the tournament in 2013 in green, after the gender issue has died down," Elling writes. "That way, the club avoids the appearance that Payne has been backed into a corner or forced into making an accommodation."


Elling: Augusta National faces potential double whammy with membership policy
Rometty succeeds Sam Palmissano at IBM, which runs the Masters' website from the bottom floor of the media center. According to a list published by USA Today in 2002, the previous three CEOs also were members — Louis Gertsner, John Akers and John Open.
As the corporate sponsors became the target, Johnson wound up doing away with TV sponsorship for two years at the Masters to keep the corporate partners — IBM, Coca-Cola and Citigroup — out of the fray.




Only IBM returned as a TV sponsor for the 2005 Masters. The others were SBC Communications and ExxonMobil.
Burk said it should not be that easy for IBM to hide if the debate gains momentum.
"What IBM needs to do is draw a line in the sand — `We're either going to pull our sponsorship and membership and any ancillary activities we support with the tournament, or the club is going to have to honor our CEO the way they have in the past,"' Burk said. "There's no papering over it. They just need to step up and do the right thing.


"They need to not pull that argument that they support the tournament and not the club," she said. "That does not fool anybody, and they could undermine their new CEO."
Burk said she would not be surprised if IBM pressured Rometty to say she doesn't want to be a member.


"Really, I don't think it's her responsibility," Burk said. "It's the board of directors. They need to take action here. They don't need to put that on her. They need to say, `This is wrong. We thought the club was on the verge of making changes several years ago, and we regretfully end our sponsorship to maintain her credibility and the company brand.' "


The debate returns just in time for one of the most anticipated Masters in years. Tiger Woods finally returned to winning last week at Bay Hill and is considered one of the favorites, along with U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy. Eight of the top 20 players in the world ranking have won heading into the first major of the year, a list that includes world No. 1 Luke Donald and Phil Mickelson.


Now comes a sensitive issue that dogged the tournament a decade ago, and might not go away easily.
Augusta National does not ban women. They can play the golf course, but no woman has worn an Augusta green jacket, a status symbol in business and golf. Rometty is said to play golf sparingly. Her greater passion is scuba diving.


She now becomes a central figure.
"We have a face, we have a resume, we have a title and we have a credible reason to do it that doesn't involve Martha Burk," Burk said.
Burk said she is no longer chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations. She had planned to step down until the first flap with the Masters began in the summer of 2002. Now, she said she runs the Corporate Accountability Project for the council, a project born from her battle with Augusta.




source: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-400_162-...ership-debate/

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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2012, 06:49 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The (Golf) Masters: About To Be Embarrassed Again Because Of Women Membership BAN

Pressure is also mounting on IBM and its board of directors, most of whom are probably men, to break is silence comment on the situation

Quote:



Burk: Augusta Gender Issue Is Now I.B.M.’s



By LYNN ZINSER
Doug Mills/The New York TimesMartha Burk in 2003.




For the second straight day, I.B.M. has taken the no-comment route on whether its new chief executive, Virginia M. Rometty, should be extended an invitation to join Augusta National as I.B.M. chief executives traditionally have been. This is, of course, an issue because Augusta National has rather vehemently defended its male-only membership over the years and now that tradition clashes with an important corporate sponsor.




Neither Augusta National nor I.B.M. is willing to say anything about the topic, with both saying Augusta membership is a private matter for the club. But Martha Burk, who famously led a 2003 protest against Augusta’s exclusion of women, said she believes that I.B.M. has an obligation not to let Augusta slide on this.
“They have a moral obligation to their customers; they have a moral obligation to their new C.E.O.,” Burk said in a telephone interview Thursday. “I think the board of directors and Sam Palmisano has to tell Augusta National to extend membership to their new C.E.O. and if it doesn’t, they will pull the sponsorship,” she said, referring to the company’s chairman. “If they don’t, they are saying that the values of the club are the values of the company,” she said.


I.B.M. is one of three major sponsors of the Masters, hosted by Augusta National. Its past four chief executives — stretching back even further than the 10 years that I.B.M. has been a major sponsor — have been extended invitations, including Palmisano, who is Rometty’s predecessor. Rometty is a golfer, although she has said in interviews that she does not play frequently, but Augusta membership has long been as much of a business community as a golf one. Its members include business titans Warren Buffett and T. Boone Pickens as well as the chief executives of Augusta’s other two major sponsors: Rex Tillerson of Exxon Mobil and Randall Stephenson of AT&T.


This seems to put Augusta in its own crosshairs, which is much different from how the issue was framed in 2003 when Burk tried to publicly pressure the club for its male-only practices. Burk is now leading the corporate accountability project of the National Council of Women’s Organizations, helping women press sexual discrimination complaints against corporations. Her protest in 2003 did not succeed in pressuring Augusta to accept women, and when Billy Payne took over from club chairman Hootie Johnson in 2006, he promised to stick to the club’s traditions.




“Now they are in a bind and it’s of their own making,” Burk said. “Because they handled it in such a neanderthal way, it is calling them to account now.”
But, Burk said, the pressure is even greater on I.B.M., a public company with women as customers, managers and now a chief executive.
“Back in 2003, they tried to make this false distinction between Augusta the club and the Masters tournament,” Burk said. “But there is no distinction and their customers are not going to swallow that line. This is a moral imperative and so far, I.B.M. is not living up to it.”


Clearly, both sides would like some sort of quiet resolution to this, but the time for quiet may have passed.




source:http://onpar.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/...s-now-i-b-m-s/
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2012, 12:49 PM
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Re: The (Golf) Masters: About To Be Embarrassed Again Because Of Women Membership BAN

Interesting issue, but I HATE how journalists will produce an entire article quoting only one person for 90% of it. Stories are going to be one-sided when the piece is basically a talking-point for one person's issue.

Still, hope they end the sexist membership junk soon.
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Re: The (Golf) Masters: About To Be Embarrassed Again Because Of Women Membership BAN

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
Interesting issue, but I HATE how journalists will produce an entire article quoting only one person for 90% of it. Stories are going to be one-sided when the piece is basically a talking-point for one person's issue.

Still, hope they end the sexist membership junk soon.
I am not for unfairness in reporting, but quite frankly, I don't see how you can be balanced in reporting this story.

Augusta has had many years to make a change, but they keep repeating year after year, that they will not be pushed to do so, they will do on their own timetable.


We have seen this movie before, various groups in American society have been told at one time and another that the larger society was not ready for their acceptance.
That they should be patient.

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The (Golf) Masters: About To Be Embarrassed Again Because Of Women Membership BAN

Although I am not singling out Tiger Woods and other minority in the PGA, I wish they would say something.
After all, just decades ago, men who look like them, were also forbidden from being members.

The only back people or Asian you found at Augusta were on the kitchen staff or part of ground keepers


Quote:


Teeing off on Augusta National Golf Club's men-only policy



Few institutions revel in the reputation of being a dinosaur like Georgia's Augusta National Golf Club, host of the Masters Tournament.


Augusta has never admitted a woman to membership and has even tried to portray its adamantine stance as a virtue: When activist Martha Burk launched a public challenge to its males-only membership policy in 2002, the club's then-chairman, Hootie Johnson, won plaudits (in some quarters) for declaring that although the club might admit women at some time in the future, it would not make a decision "at the point of a bayonet." It must be a long bayonet, because the club still hasn't budged.

For a decade the issue seemed to go away, but it may be hard to avoid now, on the eve of the 2012 Masters, which starts Thursday.

That's because the men-only tradition is about to clash with another, which is that chief executives of IBM end up on the membership rolls.
Whether they ask to join or are invited isn't clear, but at least the last four — John Opel, John Akers, Lou Gerstner and Sam Palmisano — have been members


As of Jan. 1, the CEO of IBM has been a woman. She's Virginia Rometty, whose service to the corporation dates back three decades.


This places Augusta and IBM in parallel quandaries. IBM has a very close relationship with Augusta and the Masters. It's a leading sponsor of the tournament telecast and provides the Masters with computing services. Its logo is plastered all over the tournament's website. Burk, among others, has already questioned whether IBM will stand silently by and wait for Rometty to ask for or be offered membership, whether it will decide to press the issue with Augusta, and what it will do, if anything, if the situation becomes a public embarrassment.


It's possible that the club might move now, with the issue being aired again as its signature tournament tees off. IBM hasn't spoken on the issue, and no one even knows whether Rometty wants to be a member.


But all that is immaterial: Augusta has maintained its indefensible men-only stance long past the point at which it should have joined the modern world. And even an abrupt about-face by the club wouldn't cleanse the hands of the public corporations that have chosen to play the role of enablers of Augusta's discrimination, such as IBM and tournament co-sponsors AT&T and Exxon Mobil, for all those years. All three companies pay lip service (at least) to diversity and corporate citizenship. How can they justify promoting an enterprise that flouts those same principles?


Compare their behavior to the 1986 decree by Arco, then the largest corporation in Southern California, that it would no longer pay dues for executives at clubs that discriminated against women and minorities. The two downtown clubs that were most affected, the California and Jonathan clubs, altered their behavior pretty promptly.


Augusta and its apologists maintain that private organizations shouldn't be told whom they may or may not admit as a member. Augusta even has tried to elevate this position to the level of moral imperative. Hootie Johnson wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 2002 that "women's colleges like Smith and Wellesley, historically black colleges like Spelman, the Girl Scouts of America, the Junior League, fraternities and sororities" all "discriminate" in the same sense as Augusta and therefore "would all have to be dissolved or radically changed from the single-sex profile that has become an essential part of their character" if the golf club did not stand up for liberty. "Some things are worth defending," Johnson wrote.


Augusta's claim of principle would be more convincing, if marginally so, if its record of discrimination were not so lengthy and contemptible. The club opened in 1933 and didn't admit its first black member until 1990 (the honor went to a Virginia television executive). One can only hope that Augusta didn't pat itself on the back too strongly then for standing up for the principle of equality set forth by Martin Luther King Jr., since King had been dead for 22 years at the time. This is what made Johnson's claim in 2002 that Augusta provides an opportunity "for men of all backgrounds to seek a place and time for camaraderie with other men" reek of hypocrisy, for it hadn't been so long before then that a man's "background" had counted for a lot at Augusta.


It's worth remembering that Augusta National isn't merely a private organization. If it were just another ratty old golf club, no one would care about its membership rules. But it's a club that makes a special effort to recruit corporate CEOs and other luminaries as members to enhance its own luster, and it's the force behind a major public televised event that draws viewers from all over the world and advertisers from the highest echelons of commerce. With its perfectly groomed fairways and traditions of play, it represents something fine about the game of golf; the Masters telecast, on which commercials are limited, is the most appealing of golf's four majors. One might say that in becoming a lightning rod for criticism, it's the victim of its own success, but gee, that's tough. Sometimes if you want to be in the world spotlight you have to adjust your behavior to the mores of the modern world.


No one is telling Augusta how to treat any particular individual; but there's a big difference between applying a private selection process to particular persons and excluding half of the human race from any consideration at all. Nor does anyone maintain that Augusta has a legal obligation to observe diversity; the discussion is over the moral and intellectual component of its position, which is zero. George Orwell, in a famous 1945 essay, described anti-Semitism as a position that could not be held by a rational adult but was rather a form of neurosis. Surely the same goes for sexism.


CBS, which revels in its role as the longtime TV home of the Masters, and advertisers such as IBM are certainly responsible for helping Augusta perpetuate discrimination. But we should also blame the pro golfers who participate in the tournament. They're complicit too because what gives the Masters its cachet is that it fields the greatest players in the game. Here's a bet: The moment some of them register their displeasure by rejecting the coveted invitation, the club will begin to fold its hand. Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Hunter Mahan — the ball's teed up. Will you remain as silent as your corporate sponsors?


source: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...,901197.column

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 11:13 PM
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Re: The (Golf) Masters: About To Be Embarrassed Again Because Of Women Membership BAN

they're a private club. they shouldn't have to accept women if they don't want to.

at the same time, this is a snooty self-important bunch of old white dudes. why would a woman even want to join? i hope the ibm ceo turns it down if they offer her membership.
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Re: The (Golf) Masters: About To Be Embarrassed Again Because Of Women Membership BAN

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Originally Posted by AndreaV View Post
they're a private club. they shouldn't have to accept women if they don't want to.

at the same time, this is a snooty self-important bunch of old white dudes. why would a woman even want to join? i hope the ibm ceo turns it down if they offer her membership.
That is true, but it just does not look good. It is really an untenable position.
The tournament field now include all races and all shades of Europeans.




Why does the club that runs it still exclude these people.

They say the same thing about Jews, blacks, Asians and maybe some other shade of whites

Now I hope IBM withdraws sponsorship of the tournament


Yale University had such club where both John F. Kerry and George Walker Bush were members.
Evoking tradition or saying the members are not ready is just a poor excuse.

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Re: The (Golf) Masters: About To Be Embarrassed Again Because Of Women Membership BAN

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Although I am not singling out Tiger Woods and other minority in the PGA, I wish they would say something.
After all, just decades ago, men who look like them, were also forbidden from being members.

The only back people or Asian you found at August were on the kitchen staff or part of grounder keepers
Its the membership issue which makes me totally uninterested in that event. I would not expect Tiger to make any attempts at leadership though. Considering his social interests, not many people are going to take his opinions on race issues seriously.
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Re: The (Golf) Masters: About To Be Embarrassed Again Because Of Women Membership BAN

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Originally Posted by Melange View Post
Its the membership issue which makes me totally uninterested in that event. I would not expect Tiger to make any attempts at leadership though. Considering his social interests, not many people are going to take his opinions on race issues seriously.
Unfortunately, you are correct.
Besides Tiger, there is Anthony Kim, but his profile is not be high enough to make a dent.


Or he could be just quiet to stay out of trouble with sponsors

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Re: The (Golf) Masters: About To Be Embarrassed Again Because Of Women Membership BAN

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreaV View Post

they're a private club. they shouldn't have to accept women if they don't want to.

at the same time, this is a snooty self-important bunch of old white dudes. why would a woman even want to join? i hope the ibm ceo turns it down if they offer her membership.
Don't pick on us white 50-somethings, I'll bet Brantford Gurl is still a hot piece!

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Originally Posted by tennisbum79 View Post

They say the same thing about Jews, blacks, Asians and maybe some other shade of whites

Now I hope IBM withdraws sponsorship of the tournament
And that CBS (whose affiliates all use the public airwaves for free) stops televising it! If Wiesy had ever achieved her teenage goals of succeeding on the PGA tour (she can't even win in the LPGA ) she could have become a member. Or if Annika had made the cut @ PGA events like the 2002 Colonial, especially if the Super Swede had become an American citizen.

And back when, Augusta National could have covered three bases (blacks, Jews, and the visually impaired) by admitting Sammy Davis, Jr. In terms of "some other shade of whites" in your post, would John Boehner do?
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Re: The (Golf) Masters: About To Be Embarrassed Again Because Of Women Membership BAN

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Originally Posted by *JR* View Post

And that CBS (whose affiliates all use the public airwaves for free) stops televising it! If Wiesy had ever achieved her teenage goals of succeeding on the PGA tour (she can't even win in the LPGA ) she could have become a member. Or if Annika had made the cut @ PGA events like the 2002 Colonial, especially if the Super Swede had become an American citizen.
I think if it does not change, women group will put pressure on CBS.

Back to IBM, I read somewhere that it is really the role of IBM board of directors to make a statement, it does not have to be public, but it must be a stern statement to Augusta.

CBS news division could really go rogue, by having a segment on this topic on "60 minutes" and promoting it during the Saturday and Sunday play.
But it won't happen

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Re: The (Golf) Masters: About To Be Embarrassed Again Because Of Women Membership BAN

The Masters don't have to allow women in the club, they are a private club and can do what they want.

However, if they do not allow women, organizations such as the PGA should stop having one of its majors there and IBM should stop sponsoring the major or else both organizations are complicit in the sexism and should be called out for being sexist organizations. It's a privilege to host a major, not a right. Let's see how long the Masters would continue not allowing women if the PGA decided to stop holding their major event there.

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Re: The (Golf) Masters: About To Be Embarrassed Again Because Of Women Membership BAN

We should fight injustice against women wherever it occurs in the world, including this case.

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Re: The (Golf) Masters: About To Be Embarrassed Again Because Of Women Membership BAN

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We should fight injustice against women wherever it occurs in the world, including this case.
Well, people in the West do not see this as an injustice, it is cast as private right of assembly.

The trouble here is, Augusta is using free public airwave (which belongs to all races and both genders) via CBS to promote their tournament and make money.
Politicians are notorious for using this excuse when they are caught.

Ironically, you'll probably find members of of this club teeling anyone who want to listen that they support a number women causes here and abroad, as a way to extricate themselves or get a passs from this practice.
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Re: The (Golf) Masters: About To Be Embarrassed Again Because Of Women Membership BAN

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Well, people in the West do not see this as an injustice, it is cast as private right of assembly.

The trouble here is, Augusta is using free public airwave (which belongs to all races and both genders) via CBS to promote their tournament and make money.
Politicians are notorious for using this excuse when they are caught.

Ironically, you'll probably find members of of this club teeling anyone who want to listen that they support a number women causes here and abroad, as a way to extricate themselves or get a passs from this practice.
Some conservatives will speak loudly about Women's rights in Islamic nations but when it comes to women's rights in their own nations, they are themselves regressive.

However equally some liberals are happy to call out western organisations for sexist practices, but are reluctant to take some Islamic nations to task for even worse practices.

Just I think we should condemn such things without fear or favour, at home and abroad.

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