I could listen to Bruce Springsteen all day, but I wonder if the Boss did the right thing in canceling an upcoming concert in North Carolina over that state’s passing of the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act.
That law forces transgenders to use bathrooms designated for their biological genders and could allow gay, bisexual and transgender people to be fired for their life choices.
I’ve been writing for years in blogs such as this and this about how transgender issues specifically could impact golf operations, the last blog featuring a GNN Poll that saw 85 per cent of respondents said that the industry isn’t moving quickly enough to properly deal with potential issues faced by transgenders.
Springsteen’s boycott of North Carolina brings the issue to a new level as Golf Digest points out in this story by Joel Beall, who asks if golf should also take a stand against the controversial legislation passed in that state.
Springsteen, to his credit, has the courage of his convictions on this matter, but will his boycott have the desired effect or will there be collateral damage, taking the opportunity to see him live away from not only fans, but also many fans who agree with him?
What about people who work at the venues where concerts are held, again many of which may agree with his stand? It’s conceivable that they’re missing hours of employment due to such a boycott.
That boycott will surely draw attention to the issue from around North America and likely the world, but would Springsteen do much better by taking a public stand coming in, offer a few interviews on the subject before the concert, where he can also make a statement to begin the proceedings?
Might he donate a portion of proceeds from the concert to LGBT causes and/or charities in the area instead of boycotting it?
The Golf Digest article also applies this issue to the PGA Tour, which will host the upcoming Wells Fargo Championship and later on in the year, the Wyndham Championship, both North Carolina-based events, as is the Rex Hospital Open on the Web .com Tour.
Again, the collateral damage of the impact on fans, tournament officials and employees, many of which may agree with your stand, and on the charities that receive benefits may far outweigh any impact you may have on the actual issue with such a move.
Should the game get involved at all?
Those who are passionate on any societal issue obviously believe it’s the duty of companies, public figures and even sporting organizations to take a stand, but how far do you let that go in an era of so many issues in which passions run high?
Conceivably, you could be running into such issues regularly at various stops throughout the season, so the thought of canceling tournaments and/or making public statements each time is out of the question.
I use the North Carolina controversy as an example, but this question goes beyond that and could even hit locally at golf operations. For example, would you ever think of putting up an election sign on golf course property and risk alienating those who don’t support that candidate?
Is it golf’s responsibility to get involved in social issues that don’t directly affect it, or is it best to tread lightly on such controversial subjects?
That’s the topic of this week’s GNN Poll.
You can vote below or on the GNN home page and, as always, we welcome your thoughts in the Comments section below
Does golf have a responsibility to take a stand on societal issues, or should it remain neutral on such topics?
- Tread very lightly on such topics. (43%)
- Always remain completely neutral. (38%)
- It has a responsibility. (19%)