Golf Editorial

20190822 The European Tour, Slavery & Human Trafficking

It’s irritating to me that the European Tour has spent resources to develop, publish & implement a policy on slavery & human trafficking yet cannot muster the resources to answer genuine golf questions from its twitter followers.

While I readily acknowledge that slavery is an inherent element of most golf tournaments, it’s not a truly pressing issue. Those slaves (volunteers) pretty much enter golf servitude with their eyes wide open.

Besides, they do get to see some wonderful golf up close and receive food vouchers, day passes and even a bit of free swag. It’s not even slavery if viewed from this perspective!

Human trafficking must be a thorn in the side of pro golf to merit this policy focus? Those persons trafficked across golf courses certainly have my full sympathy. We must empathise with persons trafficked into the USA across border golf courses in Mexico or Canada. Likewise persons trafficked into mainland Europe across: Spanish, Greek, Portugese or Italian golf courses.

However, facetiousness aside and to return to my original theme, the European Tour exists solely to benefit its members (the players) and the funding to do so comes from you and me: the paying spectators, television viewers and consumers of the products and services of Tour sponsors. Many of us also have twitter accounts and therein lies the nub.

We internet users are fatigued by political correctness (eg policy statements on slavery & trafficking); it’s broadly perceived as facile lip service to the god of PC.

Newsflash: European Tour, we’ll judge your actions rather than your policy words. Actions, for example, like hosting a tournament in Saudi Arabia at a time when the Saudi regime had apparently just orchestrated the murder of a prominent anti-regime journalist. Also, do you really believe that none of the migrant workers in Saudi are de facto slaves?

Anyway, I believe the Tour’s sensitivities should primarily lie in satisfying its revenue generators. This even includes a twitter user who asks a question but who is always ignored. The Tour should treat all such users with equal respect. It doesn’t.

On this topic, I have a recurring fantasy that as a big business CEO I’m in a meeting with some European Tour marketing heavyweights who are pitching a new multi-million Euro Rolex Series, or something along those lines. I’d love to positively string them along for months then, suddenly and late, pull the rug out from under them.

At which time, I’d let them know that their organisation’s actions indicate that it believes social media is a one-way street, where self-serving content can be pumped out every day into already suffocated timelines but feedback and questions (from revenue generators) are systemically ignored.

There’s no respect!


Ⓒ Copyright MJ Miller (Mike) 23 August 2019.