Why this matters
Golf has long struggled with issues of equality, and when Charlie Sifford began playing professionally, in the 1950s, the PGA Tour had the “Caucasian-only clause.”
Wendell Haskins loves golf...but golf hasn’t always loved him back. In 2015, he joined PGA of America as Senior Director of Diversity and Multicultural Initiatives; it was a chance to change the exclusionary narrative of golf.
Charlie Sifford was instrumental in overturning the Caucasian-only clause and Wendell got to work on giving him the recognition he deserved - a medal of freedom from President Obama. Wendell knew it would take time, patience, and strategy, but he hadn’t realized that the greatest resistance would come from his own colleagues.
You see, in order to change the negative narrative associated with golf, the PGA would have to recognize the racism it has associated with over the years. The first step to fixing any problem is admitting you have one…
Earlier this year, Wendell’s former colleagues at PGA penned open letters after the killing of George Floyd, asking for any feedback to improve their own institution, Wendell responded.
On the show today, Bill Rhoden and Ken Shropshire welcome Wendell Haskins, an entrepreneur with a vision of paying homage to African American pioneers in the sport of golf. And we also pay tribute to Rafer Johnson, Athlete. Philanthropist and Civil Rights Leader, who passed away this week.