Hispanic Group Urges Pro Golfers' Association to Cut Ties With Donald Trump

Donald Trump - H 2015
AP Images

Donald Trump - H 2015

Several upcoming tournaments are scheduled to be played at Trump golf courses, including this fall's PGA Grand Slam, which airs on the NBC-owned Golf Channel in October.

The National Hispanic Media Coalition is calling on another company to end its business relationship with real estate mogul and controversial presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Specifically, in a letter sent out and posted online on Thursday, the NHMC urged the Professional Golfers' Association to "suspend [its] relationship with Donald Trump and his various business enterprises."

Trump operates several golf courses, and a number of upcoming PGA tournaments are set to be played on those, including October's PGA Grand Slam, which is scheduled to take place at Trump National Golf Club in L.A. Trump National in Bedminster, N.J., is set to host the 2017 U.S. Women's Open and the 2022 PGA Championship.

The NHMC is asking that the PGA "abandon any deals that slate PGA tournaments" at Trump's courses.

The PGA on Wednesday moved to distance itself from Trump, after he said of his remarks that Mexican immigrants are "rapists" and people bringing crime and drugs into the U.S., "I’ve had tremendous support from the golf world because they all know I’m right," adding that he didn't expect a golf backlash.

“In response to Mr. Trump’s comments about the golf industry ‘knowing he is right’ in regards to his recent statements about Mexican immigrants, we feel compelled to clarify that those remarks do not reflect the views of our organizations," said the PGA in a statement. "While the LPGA, PGA of America, and PGA Tour and USGA do not usually comment on Presidential politics, Mr. Trump’s comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf."

In its letter Thursday, the NHMC said it appreciated the PGA's remarks but said that "actions speak louder than words" and urged the company to follow the lead of Macy's, NBCUniversal, Univision and other companies that have cut ties with Trump.

The PGA Grand Slam airs on the NBC-owned Golf Channel, which has not yet responded to The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment.

The 2017 U.S. Women's Open airs on Fox as part of the 10-year TV-rights deal the network signed with the USGA in 2013 that started with the U.S. Open this month.

It's unclear which network will air the 2022 PGA Championship. CBS has been the longtime home of that tournament, but its deal ends in 2019.

Earlier Thursday, NHMC president and CEO Alex Nogales said the organization was planning to push the PGA to change golf courses for the upcoming Grand Slam.

"If they don't do it, we are prepared to make it very public and send hundreds of thousands of emails to them requesting that they do that. They have a lot of Latino workers on that golf course. They have a lot of Latinos that play golf as well. We're prepared to go all the way with them to have them choose another golf course," Nogales told THR. "[Trump National in L.A.] is Trump's pride and joy. He's there about once a month. He's so happy with that golf course and very happy with the idea of how much he can charge people to play on that course. We're going to concentrate on that and bringing in Latinos across the nation on the whole thing."

Read the NHMC's full letter below.

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.

Alex Nogales?
President & CEO