July 2, 2015
Mr. Peter Bevacqua, CEO
Mr. Derek Sprague, President
c/o Jamie Carbone, Director of Public Relations
The PGA of America
100 Avenue of the Champions
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418
Dear PGA Leaders:
I write to request that you suspend your relationship with Donald Trump and his various business enterprises. Specifically, I request that you abandon any deals that slate PGA tournaments at Mr. Trump’s golf courses, including but not limited to your multi-year Grand Slam deal at Trump National Golf Course in Los Angeles, California, and the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
I appreciate your statement that Mr. Trump’s views on immigrants do not reflect the views of your organization, and that “Mr. Trump’s comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf.” It is quite clear that the PGA has undergone efforts to make the game of golf more inclusive and welcoming for women and people of color, many of whom were excluded from elite courses until, in some cases, just the past decade.
Of the more than 54 million Latinos in the U.S., who represent a $1.4 trillion annual spending power, many of us are avid golf consumers. We came to the game watching Latino greats such as Lee Trevino, Chi Chi Rodriguez and Nancy Lopez, who fostered a love for a game that once seemed too elite and inaccessible to Latinos. Countless Latinos are employed at golf courses across the country, including Mr. Trump’s courses.
Imagine how it feels for Latino golf enthusiasts, players and powerless golf course employees across the country to hear themselves and their family members referred to as criminals and rapists by a person that the PGA has elevated to a prominent position in the golf community. I am sure you will agree, this is taking the game of golf back into the dark ages of its history, and that this is the wrong direction.
Although I appreciate that the PGA has distanced itself from Trump’s remarks, as the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words. The PGA appears to be one of the last major brands to sever its business relationship with Mr. Trump. I urge you to join other major brands such as Univision, NBC Universal, Macy’s and Carlos Slim’s Ora TV, in cutting all ties with Mr. Trump.
President & CEO