Commentary: Augusta National chairman gives a lesson in hypocrisy with Woods remarks

The Kansas City StarApril 8, 2010 

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Who knew God made a high horse low enough for Billy Payne to saddle?

All I know is the authorities better kill it, lest O.J. Simpson or Bernie Madoff mount the nag in a prison break.

On the eve of Tiger Woods' return to tournament golf, Payne, the chairman of Augusta National Golf Course, used his annual Masters news conference to add his voice to the throng of self-righteous hypocrites blasting Woods for the golfer's sexual promiscuity.

"Finally," Payne said Wednesday as he wrapped up his opening comment, "we are not unaware of the significance of this week to a very special player, Tiger Woods. A man who in a brief 13 years clearly and emphatically proclaimed and proved his game to be worthy of the likes of Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. As (Tiger) ascended in our rankings of the world's great golfers, he became an example to our kids that success is directly attributable to hard work and effort.

"But as he now says himself, he forgot in the process to remember that with fame and fortune comes responsibility, not invisibility. It is not simply the degree of his conduct that is so egregious here; it is the fact that he disappointed all of us, and more importantly, our kids and our grandkids. Our hero did not live up to the expectations of the role model we saw for our children."

Payne should be immediately drug tested. He's chairman of a club with a history of exclusionary membership policies that would embarrass even the angriest Tea Party protesters.

You can't preach ethics and morality from Payne's bully pulpit. The stench of hypocrisy makes it sound like bull(spit).

Black and brown folks have kids and grandkids, too. And so do women.

It wasn't until the Shoal Creek Golf Club/PGA Championship controversy in the early 1990s that Augusta National decided to invite a token black member. Augusta National still doesn't have a female member, which does not bother me but does trouble some female golf fans.

Augusta National Golf Course, home to America's premier golf event, stands as a shining symbol of white male supremacy.

To read the complete column, visit www.kansascity.com.

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