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Casey Martin booted from cart while watching U.S. Junior Amateur qualifier - Page 2

post #19 of 49

Martin argued he was handicapped and required exception to use a cart in USGA tournaments.  He can't have it both ways, so he rides a scooter that is provided for the handicap and elderly or he walks, quite simple, fair and logical. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisguy View Post

I think the USGA rule is absurd. There is a "cripple" or "oldster" stigma attached to using a scooter cart. I understand completely why Martin was upset about first having the circumstances changed on him for no apparently logical reason and secondly, being offered an unsatisfactory alternative. The USGA was being "fair" in the same way that Jim Crow laws were fair - "Hey, we aren't picking on any particular person of color - they ALL get the same back of the bus seats, separate water fountains, and segregated schools." I don't imagine there's any great amount of space being saved by a single scooter versus golf cart - I don't recall seeing any mobility-challenged fans on their own transportation at the two pro tournaments I've attended (I saw a few larger 6-person carts ferrying older people around, but I wasn't particularly paying attention), let alone scores of them stacked up around the tees or greens taking up valuable spectator space, so I don't see a problem with having a few carts per hole versus a few scooters. Is there any rationale behind a scooter versus cart rule, other than to save space? I can't think of one. I think that the USGA can reasonably accommodate a handicapped person without embarassing him/her. But here I am again making points that some of the people on this site despise because I'm one of those damn pinko-types who has this crazy idea that rules (and people too) should be .... gasp ..... fair, logical, and reasonable.
post #20 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post

I'm a fan of Casey's but one thing I don't get is why hasn't this happened before?  Why didn't he already know about this?  As a coach for several years, you have to figure he's been to more than a few USGA junior events.

 

Just a guess but I'd say that he's asked before, he has been accommodated as he requested with a regular cart, and no pedantic, self-righteous/important rules-gunner has ever previously had the audacity to embarass him as the USGA official did recently. Maybe personal politics played a role, too - some people got pretty hung up on his lawsuit to be allowed to compete using a cart. ========================================================================================================= I feel for the guy. With all he's had to deal with as far as his disability goes, plus with all of the nonsense people yell at golf tournaments these days, who'd want to risk some jackwad yelling "Hey, Wal-Mart called and they want their cart back - there's some blue-hairs who need to get to the Depends aisle." It is entirely possible to accommodate people in this by treating them with dignity, without having to jump through hoops, either. This is especially true if he was there on a recruiting/scouting trip - think about how silly and judgmental your average teenager can be - some might not be willing to give him fair consideration if they saw him riding around in a scooter. and maybe he wanted an empty seat next to him to hold notebooks, folders, or whatever else a college coach might have with him to keep track of athletes on a recruiting trip. As for the carts clogging up the paths, I recall plenty of carts driving officials and others around at the USWO last year and they were getting through without issues, and I'm guessing this tournament had one tenth of the attendance of a pro major. But maybe Martin was driving his cart around this tournament like a jerk - who knows?
Edited by Wisguy - 6/29/13 at 2:20pm
post #21 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisguy View Post

 

Just a guess but I'd say that he's asked before, he has been accommodated as he requested with a regular cart, and no pedantic, self-righteous/important rules-gunner has ever previously had the audacity to embarass him as the USGA official did recently. Maybe personal politics played a role, too - some people got pretty hung up on his lawsuit to be allowed to compete using a cart. =========================================================================================================I feel for the guy. With all he's had to deal with as far as his disability goes, plus with all of the nonsense people yell at golf tournaments these days, who'd want to risk some jackwad yelling "Hey, Wal-Mart called and they want their cart back - there's some blue-hairs who need to get to the Depends aisle."

So we should change the USGA rules to accommodate a golfer who argues in court that he's disabled but is too proud to ride a scooter...give me a break. 

post #22 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

So we should change the USGA rules to accommodate a golfer who argues in court that he's disabled but is too proud to ride a scooter...give me a break. 

 

I get it - you're one of these guys that really hated Martin for suggesting that walking wasn't that big of a part of golf. If the rule doesn't have a particularly important rationale and can easily be changed to make more people happy without inconveniencing anyone, then why not change it or make exceptions to it? The spectator cart/scooter rule doesn't have anything to do with the fundamentals or traditions of golf.
post #23 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisguy View Post

 

I get it - you're one of these guys that really hated Martin for suggesting that walking wasn't that big of a part of golf. If the rule doesn't have a particularly important rationale and can easily be changed to make more people happy without inconveniencing anyone, then why not change it or make exceptions to it? The cart rule doesn't have anything to do with the fundamentals or traditions of golf.

I don't hate Martin, I just think in this instance he's being unreasonable and using his disability to continue to wage his war against the USGA.  He won in court the right to use a cart as a professional golfer and while I disagree with the ruling, it has zero impact on me overall, certainly not enough to hate him. 

 

He, being disabled, is entitled to use a scooter as a spectator at USGA events, not a golf cart.  Rather than accept the scooter that he was offered after the mistake was determined, he chose to leave the event and make this an issue with the USGA in the press.   

 

What is so special about Casey Martin that he should be entitled to a cart when every other disabled individual is riding a scooter? 

post #24 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

What is so special about Casey Martin that he should be entitled to a cart when every other disabled individual is riding a scooter? 

 

Like I said above, he probably was on a recruiting or scouting trip. The teenagers he's trying to recruit wouldn't think twice if he was on a golf cart, but some will think, consciously or subconsciously, "Dude, I don't want to play for some handicapped guy on an old lady scooter." It's not a matter of vanity just for his own pride's sake, it effects his job.
post #25 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisguy View Post

 

Like I said above, he probably was on a recruiting or scouting trip. The teenagers he's trying to recruit wouldn't think twice if he was on a golf cart, but some will think, consciously or subconsciously, "Dude, I don't want to play for some handicapped guy on an old lady scooter." It's not a matter of vanity just for his own pride's sake, it effects his job.

Right, cause I'm sure the players he's recruiting have never heard of Casey Martin or the legal action he took against the USGA because of his disability. 

post #26 of 49
NTG, I think it's a mistake these days to underestimate the ignorance that is possible when dealing with younger people and referring to the not-so-distant past. I can't tell you the number of times in the past decade I have talked music or sports with younger generations and encountered dull, blank looks over what are household names to me and my friends. "Jimi who? He must have played guitar, like, back in the 50's or something? Never heard of him - was he any good?" "Reggie White? Didn't he play for the Yankees back when my dad was a kid?" At a work outing, someone put on some late 70's music and a guy in his early-mid 20's, a kid who had previously boasted about having seen hundreds of concerts, asked who played Heart of Glass and And She Was and admitted that he thought he had heard of Blondie but had never before heard of the Talking Heads. Priorities are different these days for many/most younger people than they were in prior generations - they don't care so much about the past, the present is most of what matters. Hell, cars aren't even that important for a lot of teenage boys these days. I read a car magazine article not long ago that tried to get some random urban college kid interested in cars and it was comical how ignorant of and disinterested in cars he was - at one point, he was shown a Lamborghini and asked "Is that, like, some sort of Ferrari?" Several friends who have teenage kids have told me the same thing about their kids and their friends - one friend actually had to have quite an argument with his 16 year-old son to get him to take driving lessons and get his driver's license - he stated that son and his friends intend to live in a city, take public transporation, and don't want to drive and pollute the environment. Of course this isn't true of all younger people and I'm not advocating stereotyping all teenagers in this fashion. However, for someone like Casey Martin who did not set any records, I think you'd be surprised at how few youngsters know who he is. Next time you see some teenagers on a golf course, ask them.
post #27 of 49
According to this article, Casey said he was offered to be dropped off at one location. It does not say if he was offered a scooter in lieu of the cart. He was there to follow a couple of prospects but still technically a spectator, as any other college recruiters would be.

"I said, 'Let me ride this.' He apologized but said he couldn't. I said, 'I know I can use this cart, but if not, can you or someone take me around?' He said, 'We can take you to a point on the course and drop you. We can't cart you around.'"

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/golf/2013/06/25/casey-martin-golf-cart-oregon-us-golf-association/2458135/
post #28 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisguy View Post

I understand completely why Martin was upset about first having the circumstances changed on him for no apparently logical reason

 

There was a logical reason - he was using a cart while only scooters were permitted. You may not like the reason, but to say there's "no logical reason" is wrong.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisguy View Post

secondly, being offered an unsatisfactory alternative

 

Why do you care if it was unsatisfactory? It was the same alternative given to all. He was offered the same things afforded to others who were not capable of walking.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisguy View Post

The USGA was being "fair" in the same way that Jim Crow laws were fair - "Hey, we aren't picking on any particular person of color - they ALL get the same back of the bus seats, separate water fountains, and segregated schools."

 

That's bull and you know it.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisguy View Post

Is there any rationale behind a scooter versus cart rule, other than to save space? I can't think of one.

 

And you've run thousands of events, like the USGA, right?

 

d2_doh.gif

 

And even if that WAS the only reason (it's not), it seems like a good enough one to me. Regular carts can't fit through everywhere that a scooter type cart can.

post #29 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by frazzled924 View Post

According to this article, Casey said he was offered to be dropped off at one location. It does not say if he was offered a scooter in lieu of the cart. He was there to follow a couple of prospects but still technically a spectator, as any other college recruiters would be.

"I said, 'Let me ride this.' He apologized but said he couldn't. I said, 'I know I can use this cart, but if not, can you or someone take me around?' He said, 'We can take you to a point on the course and drop you. We can't cart you around.'"

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/golf/2013/06/25/casey-martin-golf-cart-oregon-us-golf-association/2458135/

Agree. If Martin was offered a scooter to get around and refused after being told he couldn't use the cart then bad on him but I haven't read anything that says this was an option. We don't have enough info unless someone can find a link that has a better explanation.
post #30 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchott View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by frazzled924 View Post

According to this article, Casey said he was offered to be dropped off at one location. It does not say if he was offered a scooter in lieu of the cart. He was there to follow a couple of prospects but still technically a spectator, as any other college recruiters would be.

"I said, 'Let me ride this.' He apologized but said he couldn't. I said, 'I know I can use this cart, but if not, can you or someone take me around?' He said, 'We can take you to a point on the course and drop you. We can't cart you around.'"

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/golf/2013/06/25/casey-martin-golf-cart-oregon-us-golf-association/2458135/

Agree. If Martin was offered a scooter to get around and refused after being told he couldn't use the cart then bad on him but I haven't read anything that says this was an option. We don't have enough info unless someone can find a link that has a better explanation.

 

Whether he was offered a scooter, or a ride in a cart, or a transporter beam courtesy of Scotty himself, is irrelevant. He was offered the same options that any other disabled spectator had (unless you don't believe the USGA's statement regarding that - see my original post).

post #31 of 49

Let's just take the rules-are-rules stuff out of this for a second. Just looking at this from a PR perspective, how freaking dumb is the USGA for caring about this? I mean, it's a junior amateur qualfying event, I'm guessing Martin being in a cart wasn't an issue - there probably aren't more than a couple of hundred people at the event. Martin has sued and won for similar things in the past, and he's a media figure. Why on earth would you risk the PR hit for kicking this guy out of a cart that probably wasn't bothering anybody? Why risk the lawsuit? It's just extremely dumb to risk all of this bad PR and the lawsuit for something that realistically wasn't bothering anybody. As soon as you think past the rules on this, it's extremely dumb.

post #32 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadMan View Post

Let's just take the rules-are-rules stuff out of this for a second. Just looking at this from a PR perspective, how freaking dumb is the USGA for caring about this? I mean, it's a junior amateur qualfying event, I'm guessing Martin being in a cart wasn't an issue - there probably aren't more than a couple of hundred people at the event. Martin has sued and won for similar things in the past, and he's a media figure. Why on earth would you risk the PR hit for kicking this guy out of a cart that probably wasn't bothering anybody? Why risk the lawsuit? It's just extremely dumb to risk all of this bad PR and the lawsuit for something that realistically wasn't bothering anybody. As soon as you think past the rules on this, it's extremely dumb.

 

I agree with all that. Although, there is the possibility that once they set a precedent by providing a cart for Martin, they'd have to allow it for every other disabled person who wants one, for every tournament in the future, including ones where there are a lot more spectators and it would be a true logistical issue.

 

One might think there can't be that many disabled people who would suddenly want carts at USGA events, but personally I've noticed over the last couple years quite an increase in people making use of handicap accommodations. As one example, I noticed at one course the other day that every handicap parking stall (6 of them) were taken, and another handicap placard car was circling around trying to find a spot.  It surprised me that there were that many people at the course at a given time who were disabled enough to warrant a parking placard, but not so disabled they couldn't golf. There was also a story in the local paper about how the city is facing a shortage of handicapped parking spaces.

 

And I'm also hearing a lot of stories in the news lately about people who are claiming they need scooters at Disneyland, or a wheelchair at the airport, who turn out to be not disabled at all and are just lazy.  Sad to say, I know a few of those people personally.

 

But regardless of how much of the increase is legitimately disabled people vs. those who are just working the system, there has been an increase. So my point being, PR aside, it's probably a necessary evil for the USGA to be careful about what kind of precedents they set.

post #33 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadMan View Post

Let's just take the rules-are-rules stuff out of this for a second. Just looking at this from a PR perspective, how freaking dumb is the USGA for caring about this? I mean, it's a junior amateur qualfying event, I'm guessing Martin being in a cart wasn't an issue - there probably aren't more than a couple of hundred people at the event. Martin has sued and won for similar things in the past, and he's a media figure. Why on earth would you risk the PR hit for kicking this guy out of a cart that probably wasn't bothering anybody? Why risk the lawsuit? It's just extremely dumb to risk all of this bad PR and the lawsuit for something that realistically wasn't bothering anybody. As soon as you think past the rules on this, it's extremely dumb.

This is kind of how I felt about it as well.  If the decision to ban him from using the cart was brought on by another disabled person because he wasn't allowed one, then by all means, take it away from him.  But if not, this reminds me of those stories you read on Yahoo every other week about some kid getting suspended from kindergarten due to a zero tolerance policy because he pointed his finger at another kid like it was a gun.

 

In both cases, the authority is following the rules, which you can't really argue against, but I question whether or not a little common sense or discretion wouldn't be better served in a case like this.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if behind the scenes, the higher ups at the USGA weren't really pissed at the local guy for bringing this unnecessary s**tstorm upon them.

post #34 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacm3bill View Post

Whether he was offered a scooter, or a ride in a cart, or a transporter beam courtesy of Scotty himself, is irrelevant. He was offered the same options that any other disabled spectator had (unless you don't believe the USGA's statement regarding that - see my original post).

There are two issues.

1) Even if it was in error that the organizer or whoever it was offered him a cart it looks bad to later take it away as it didn't conform to USGA rules.

2) if the USGA really wants to steel themselves for another fight about the Americans with Disabilities Act, this cannot end well for them. Terrible idea to once again be in the public eye on this issue. We know that Martin is not afraid to take this further.
post #35 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacm3bill View Post

 

I agree with all that. Although, there is the possibility that once they set a precedent by providing a cart for Martin, they'd have to allow it for every other disabled person who wants one, for every tournament in the future, including ones where there are a lot more spectators and it would be a true logistical issue.

 

One might think there can't be that many disabled people who would suddenly want carts at USGA events, but personally I've noticed over the last couple years quite an increase in people making use of handicap accommodations. As one example, I noticed at one course the other day that every handicap parking stall (6 of them) were taken, and another handicap placard car was circling around trying to find a spot.  It surprised me that there were that many people at the course at a given time who were disabled enough to warrant a parking placard, but not so disabled they couldn't golf. There was also a story in the local paper about how the city is facing a shortage of handicapped parking spaces.

 

And I'm also hearing a lot of stories in the news lately about people who are claiming they need scooters at Disneyland, or a wheelchair at the airport, who turn out to be not disabled at all and are just lazy.  Sad to say, I know a few of those people personally.

 

But regardless of how much of the increase is legitimately disabled people vs. those who are just working the system, there has been an increase. So my point being, PR aside, it's probably a necessary evil for the USGA to be careful about what kind of precedents they set.

 

That all is a very good point, and one I hadn't thought of. I guess I need to re-engage the cynical side of my brain.

 

On the other hand, I understand Martin's reaction completely. He called ahead and asked to get a cart. He had probably prepared for the tournament with the thought in his mind that he would have a cart to ride around in. He probably has a bunch of stuff with him to scout kids (e.g., notebook, binder, etc.). And now, he's being forced out of the cart despite clearing it before hand with someone (obviously, the wrong person, but still). No one knows if he was even offered the scooter - it sounds like the USGA offered to dump him at a spot and leave him there. All this after dealing with the stigma of being handicapped and having to file a lawsuit to be able to play the game he loves. I would be pissed if I were in his shoes, and rightfully so.

post #36 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by sacm3bill View Post

I agree with all that. Although, there is the possibility that once they set a precedent by providing a cart for Martin, they'd have to allow it for every other disabled person who wants one, for every tournament in the future, including ones where there are a lot more spectators and it would be a true logistical issue.

Nah, I don't think this comes into play ... unless the reason why they took it away was because somebody brought it to their attention publicly.  I mean, if another disabled person said "if he gets one, then I want one too" then I totally agree with everything that they did and are saying (and what you're saying as well) because this is something they'd have to nip in the bud.

 

However, if it was just a matter of some director showing up and seeing him in an unauthorized cart, he would have been better served to turn the other cheek for this tournament.   (In this case, its a completely "victimless crime")  It's not going to open up the floodgates to a zillion disabled people demanding carts when you simply say exactly what you said to Casey Martin ... but wait until this tournament is over.  "Sorry, we made a mistake in providing that cart to him as it's against USGA rules."

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