The Augusta National Golf Club and The Masters Tournament will not be joining Major League Baseball in a boycott to support protests against controversial voting laws in the state of Georgia.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Augusta and Masters chairman Fred Ridley made it clear that no boycott or strong statements of any kind of the issue will take place. Ridley then admonished the protesters by stating that boycotts target “the most vulnerable in our society.”
“We realize that views and opinions on this law differ, and there have been calls for boycotts and other punitive measures. Unfortunately, those actions often impose the greatest burdens on the most vulnerable in our society,” Ridley said, via Golf Digest. “And in this case, that includes our friends and neighbors here in Augusta who are the very focus of the positive difference we are trying to make.”
Ridley did, however, extend an olive branch in stating that no one should be deprived of the right to vote. He feels that confidence in the voting system is critical in a democracy. But he would not condemn the recently passed laws in Georgia.
“I believe, as does everyone in our organization, that the right to vote is fundamental in our democratic society.”
— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) April 7, 2021
Major League Baseball has already moved the All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver in response to the voting laws.
Meanwhile, the NFL reportedly does not intend to pursue any direct action against the state – at least for the time being.
The 2021 Masters Tournament begins on Thursday and will feature a packed field of golfers eyeing one of the most prestigious tournament wins in the sport.