Just before we started carving our Thanksgiving birds this past weekend, columnist Kelly McParland served up a turkey with this story in the National Post.
McParland took issue with Toronto mayoralty candidate Olivia Chow taking on rival John Tory for remarks he made as a radio talk show host, suggesting that women take up golf to advance their careers.
“Nothing controversial in that: it happens to be true that a lot of business gets done on the golf course, where office formalities can be shucked aside in favour of a more informal atmosphere,” wrote McParland.
In other words, there’s nothing wrong with it from his perspective.
Forget the fact that many women other than Chow took issue with Tory on that comment, feeling that business acumen, education, negotiation skills and other talents might be considered for women looking to get ahead over their handicaps on the golf course.
Back when I also covered football, I met John Tory on several occasions when he was commissioner of the CFL and found him to be fair and respectful of everybody, including both genders. That was the consensus, including women who worked with him.
I’d be interested in hearing his thoughts on the context in which he made that statement, but for purposes of this blog, it really doesn’t matter.
The reaction of Chow, other women and a union coalition that produced an attack ad was really not about golf. If you had said women should take up hockey, basketball or tiddlywinks to advance their careers, the reaction would have been the same.
It’s all about politics and that’s a dirty game. Chow, with her NDP roots, will stay at arm’s length from the unions who support her faltering campaign, but the message from both sides isn’t a shot at golf – it’s a shot at Tory, the front-runner through most of the campaign.
It’s more about Tory’s alleged attitude towards women than it is about golf. See for yourself.
On the weekend, the self-perceived defenders of golf were on the warpath on social media, pointing out how much money golf raises for important causes and how teenager Brooke Henderson is a fine example of women in the game.
McParland, himself, pointed out how unions hold charity golf tournaments, so obviously, they don’t really think the game is anything bad. It’s just convenient to use against Tory right now.
There’s really know need to justify our existence.
There are way more important things to worry about in golf than this perceived insult to the game. Making a big deal about it only prolongs it and offers it credibility when it isn’t even worth our attention.
Personally, I’m more offended by this story in which environmentalists seem to be taking too much joy in the decline in golf participation. That article is about golf specifically, not union tactics or attack ads in the political arena.
In the case of environmentalists, however, we all know there are those who would rather see the game disappear. All that will come out in one of their diatribes are negatives about the industry, so what are you going to do?
The same goes with politics. Sadly, attack ads are the way it’s done these days, but in this case, it really has nothing to do with the game, which just happened to get caught in the cross-fire.
The environmentalists will keep coming at golf, but the election will be held Oct. 27 and then, it will be all over and forgotten.