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Rory McIlroy, European Tour, R&A, and Hypocrisy re: Emirates

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http://www.geoffshackelford.com/homepage/2017/3/15/by-ignoring-golfs-ties-to-emirates-we-risk-hypocrisy.html

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“Obviously I was outspoken about this before whenever the vote went the first time around,” McIlroy said. “I mean, in this day and age, where you’ve got women that are like the leaders of certain industries and women that are heads of state and not to be able to join a golf course? I mean, it’s obscene. Like it’s ridiculous. So, they sort of saw sense. I still think that it got to this stage is horrendous.

“And yeah, I mean, we’ll go back and we’ll play the Open Championship, because they will let women members in, but every time I go to Muirfield now I won’t have a great taste in my mouth.”

That's all well and good, Rory, but… you still play in Dubai and all that, no?

Quote

...the strong-arm tactics and faux outrage exhibited by some in golf’s ruling class (not to mention members of the media who get their knickers in a twist far too often) have become a bit much, especially since the vote everyone is praising out of Muirfield occurred the same week that a couple in the United Arab Emirates, arrested on charges of having premarital sex, finally were released from jail after being detained on Jan. 29.

The couple, South African Emlyn Culverwell and his Ukrainian fiancée, Iryna Nohai, were charged under the UAE’s Islamic laws forbidding sex outside of marriage after Iryna went to a local Abu Dhabi hospital with stomach pains and doctors discovered that she was pregnant. The couple could have faced up to two years imprisonment before authorities were persuaded to change their minds and dropped charges last week.

This follows a 2013 case in which a Norwegian woman, who reported being raped in Dubai, was sentenced to 16 months behind bars on charges of unwed sex and drinking alcohol. She later was pardoned and allowed to leave the country. Her accused rapists were never charged.

Where's the commentary on the atrocities and how "obscene" their behavior is?

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1 hour ago, No Mulligans said:

I agree with his opinion on Muirfield.  Nobody's perfect (certainly not me).

And what of his silence on the Emirates tournaments and cash he takes?

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9 minutes ago, chilepepper said:

I'm sure I've been a hypocrite numerous times

As we all have. But maybe not often at this level.

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I think you could call this the pot calling the kettle black.

Yes, we've all had our hypocritical moments, but mine, nor really any of ours, goes around the world in the dominant media for all to see. I would hope Rory would be self aware enough to realize he's going get some blow back here. I've been upbraided on these pages by none other than iacas when something dumb slipped out of my brain, into my fingers, and I decided to hit Submit Reply anyway!

I'm quite sure Rory knows where his bread is buttered, and doesn't want to piss off the tournament sponsors who fill his pockets with cash. After all, I believe it was the Emir himself who decided that golf would be played in the UAE.

It makes me wonder how much they pay him just for showing up? It must be enough to buy his silence.

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Haha, at some point, Rory's going to have to hire handlers who tell him to pipe down a bit in press conferences. I love his honesty, but it's not a surprise that a superstar athlete didn't think his position through 100% before speaking.

He clearly means well though, so he's still awesome in my book, but it's kinda bad now if he allows himself to take that private jet to Dubai to get showered with their VIP treatment and riches. He should know full well that there are government supported crimes against women that go down in the UAE that make the Open at Muirfield look a Lilith Fair music festival. 

All that being said, I'll take honesty and hypocrisy over an endless stream of canned responses any day! I still love you, Rory!

 

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

As we all have. But maybe not often at this level.

I can only dream of being a hypocrite at that level

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So he shouldn't play in countries with laws he disagrees with? What if he has a problem with capital punishment? Or capital punishment for minors and people with mental disabilities? Does that mean he shouldn't play in the US? Should he not play in states with miscegenation statues still on the books? Or states with anti-sodomy laws? 

Unless the courses the Euro tour plays at don't allow female members, it's not the same issue. It's a lazy, illogical hot take by someone looking for clicks.

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It is one thing in the UK where there are changes are occurring in society and someone picks a side and makes statements supporting one side of the debate.

it is something else to go into another country, one in which you are a guest and make political and societal statements. Golf is a part of the Scottish culture and identity. This does not make what happens in the Emirates (and many other countries) right.

It one thing to make political commentary in your home country and another to speak about global politics (I'll give Mr. McIlroy a pass on this).
The better question, IMO, is why is the European Tour having sponsored events in some of these countries (as if we don't know the answer is the almighty dollar (sorry) I mean Euro €

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20 hours ago, DeadMan said:

So he shouldn't play in countries with laws he disagrees with? What if he has a problem with capital punishment? Or capital punishment for minors and people with mental disabilities? Does that mean he shouldn't play in the US? Should he not play in states with miscegenation statues still on the books? Or states with anti-sodomy laws? 

Unless the courses the Euro tour plays at don't allow female members, it's not the same issue. It's a lazy, illogical hot take by someone looking for clicks.

All I can say is yikes! You've missed the point entirely. Don't go to the Emirates and take their money and then say you'll have a "bad taste in your mouth" any time you play Muirfield! You swerved close to the truth in your last paragraph when you said it's not the same issue! Darn right there!

As far as illogical takes looking for clicks, you could give those folks a run for their money!

12 hours ago, Wally Fairway said:

It is one thing in the UK where there are changes are occurring in society and someone picks a side and makes statements supporting one side of the debate.

it is something else to go into another country, one in which you are a guest and make political and societal statements. Golf is a part of the Scottish culture and identity. This does not make what happens in the Emirates (and many other countries) right.

It one thing to make political commentary in your home country and another to speak about global politics (I'll give Mr. McIlroy a pass on this).
The better question, IMO, is why is the European Tour having sponsored events in some of these countries (as if we don't know the answer is the almighty dollar (sorry) I mean Euro €

Very true. But, if Rory was really so socially conscious of women's issues he wouldn't play in the Emirates at all, now would he? Nor would the R&A sanction a tournament there.

You either have core values or you do not. You are consistent or you are not. If they wished to treat Dubai like Muirfield nobody of consequence would be there!

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21 hours ago, DeadMan said:

So he shouldn't play in countries with laws he disagrees with?

I haven't really shared my opinion on this. Just putting it up for discussion.

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9 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

All I can say is yikes! You've missed the point entirely. Don't go to the Emirates and take their money and then say you'll have a "bad taste in your mouth" any time you play Muirfield! You swerved close to the truth in your last paragraph when you said it's not the same issue! Darn right there!

As far as illogical takes looking for clicks, you could give those folks a run for their money!

Very true. But, if Rory was really so socially conscious of women's issues he wouldn't play in the Emirates at all, now would he? Nor would the R&A sanction a tournament there.

You either have core values or you do not. You are consistent or you are not. If they wished to treat Dubai like Muirfield nobody of consequence would be there!

I don't think the R&A sanctions tournaments in Dubai etc-the European Tour does. However, your point still stands. It is obvious hypocrisy, but money talks. We basically give the Emirates a free pass because we like their money.

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On 3/16/2017 at 11:56 PM, DeadMan said:

So he shouldn't play in countries with laws he disagrees with? What if he has a problem with capital punishment?

It probably is more complicated than that. You obviously can't blame a golf course that is located in such a country, like the US which has capital punishment in certain states. When the golf course are implementing the policy in which he speaks to about he should do his best to then avoid those tournaments if he does really advocate against such policies. It doesn't look good for him to blast Muirfield and then play in Dubai. 

On 3/16/2017 at 8:07 PM, jbishop15 said:

Him being a hypocrite doesn't really matter, though. He's right; his potential hypocrisy doesn't change that. 

He may be right, but private courses have the right to set the policies they want. There are associations across the world were they are either women only or men only. They have a right to do so. The R&A has the right to then set its own policies on which courses make The Open rotation. 

Should girls be allowed to join the Boy Scouts just because some social activists thinks its wrong. The girls have the Girl Scouts. Should boys then be allowed to join the Girl Scouts then? Maybe we should just merge both of them? No, this whole issue is because Muirfield is an old institution, a private institution, and social activists see them as another notch in the belt. 

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I just want to preface this by saying I reeeeeaaaaallllly don't care that much about this, but I do think it's somewhat interesting to discuss. OK, with that out of the way:

On 3/16/2017 at 11:56 PM, DeadMan said:

So he shouldn't play in countries with laws he disagrees with? What if he has a problem with capital punishment? Or capital punishment for minors and people with mental disabilities? Does that mean he shouldn't play in the US? Should he not play in states with miscegenation statues still on the books? Or states with anti-sodomy laws? 

I have no problem with him playing wherever he chooses. It's just that he shouldn't scold Muirfield with one hand and then accept a truck load of cash from Emirates with the other. Rory is basically the UAE's one-man minister of tourism for one week out of every year. And that's fine, but he should at least realize he's not being consistent, as @Buckeyebowman pointed out, at least, in my opinion.

On 3/16/2017 at 11:56 PM, DeadMan said:

Unless the courses the Euro tour plays at don't allow female members, it's not the same issue. It's a lazy, illogical hot take by someone looking for clicks.

I really don't think there's anything wrong here with exploring the philosophical implications Rory has created for himself based on his opinion of Muirfield.

Quote

“Obviously I was outspoken about this before whenever the vote went the first time around,” McIlroy said. “I mean, in this day and age, where you’ve got women that are like the leaders of certain industries and women that are heads of state and not to be able to join a golf course? I mean, it’s obscene. Like it’s ridiculous. So, they sort of saw sense. I still think that it got to this stage is horrendous."

Based on my reading of the other thread, there's quite a lot to suggest that Muirfield's decision to allow women into their club was all about getting back on the Open rota. It likely had little to do with any social epiphany they may have had about gender equality.

It's been well reasoned on the other thread by others, but I'm of the opinion that a private club can do whatever it wants. If it risks hurting their bottom line, then that's a risk they've chosen to take. On the other hand, a sovereign nation probably has a moral obligation to provide its people with equal rights under the law, and when it comes to migrant workers and women, the UAE is sorely lacking. But to make it even worse, they often use their immense affluence to mask these human rights abuses by using a celebrity like Rory to promote the image of a fully Westernized Dubai. 

So Rory is mad at a club for doing things well within their rights to do as a private club, and yet he's totally cool with promoting tourism in a country that has laws that punish the rape victim. Again, I'm not calling him out for associating with the UAE, just that his Muirfield opinion kind of loses the plot when we look at it in greater context.

Now, this is all to say again that I honestly don't care about any of this other than feeling compelled to further clarify my opinion haha :-D. I'm still a big Rory fan. I'm just pointing out that he's being a bit of a hypocrite here. We all are from one time or another.

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On 3/16/2017 at 2:48 PM, iacas said:

http://www.geoffshackelford.com/homepage/2017/3/15/by-ignoring-golfs-ties-to-emirates-we-risk-hypocrisy.html

That's all well and good, Rory, but… you still play in Dubai and all that, no?

Where's the commentary on the atrocities and how "obscene" their behavior is?

I think talking about anything regarding Islamic rule and their misogynistic laws is a double edge sword these days. I would stay silent on that topic just because of the islamophobic label that the media is quick to use like it's nothing.

I said this in a different thread but he's also probably attempting to reshape his image after he got hear from playing golf with Trump, which I think is completely ridiculous but won't go into detail here. Also, isn't it entirely possible Rory wasn't completely aware of the situations that happened because those are events that weren't directly tied to a golf course? I can see how he would be aware of the overall social second class treatment of women but not particular situations.

 

This next part should be inside the quote:

 I have no problem with him playing wherever he chooses. It's just that he shouldn't scold Muirfield with one hand and then accept a truck load of cash from Emirates with the other. Rory is basically the UAE's one-man minister of tourism for one week out of every year.

1 hour ago, JetFan1983 said:

Based on my reading of the other thread, there's quite a lot to suggest that Muirfield's decision to allow women into their club was all about getting back on the Open rota. It likely had little to do with any social epiphany they may have had about gender equality.

So Rory is mad at a club for doing things well within their rights to do as a private club, and yet he's totally cool with promoting tourism in a country that has laws that punish the rape victim. Again, I'm not calling him out for associating with the UAE, just that his Muirfield opinion kind of loses the plot when we look at it in greater context.

Yeah. It could have been completely financial, there could be implications that would arise, etc. We don't know and Rory spoke too soon. 

That being said, Rory made it public that he would have a distaste for the club, but he didn't say he wouldn't play there. This is his job, if he wants to play courses it's his job to do so, being a money ***** just comes with the job. Playing the course doesn't mean promoting laws the government has in place. He's not the only professional that plays in Duabai, it's a tournament stop and they're competing to win money.

After this whole situation don't be surprised if he makes a negative comment about Dubai soon and he's to go through this all again.

My biggest problem is that he's a guest invited to play for a lot of money, he should just keep quiet and let the media handle the inequalities or injustices, you're there to play golf.

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9 hours ago, saevel25 said:

It probably is more complicated than that. You obviously can't blame a golf course that is located in such a country, like the US which has capital punishment in certain states. When the golf course are implementing the policy in which he speaks to about he should do his best to then avoid those tournaments if he does really advocate against such policies. It doesn't look good for him to blast Muirfield and then play in Dubai. 

He may be right, but private courses have the right to set the policies they want. There are associations across the world were they are either women only or men only. They have a right to do so. The R&A has the right to then set its own policies on which courses make The Open rotation. 

Should girls be allowed to join the Boy Scouts just because some social activists thinks its wrong. The girls have the Girl Scouts. Should boys then be allowed to join the Girl Scouts then? Maybe we should just merge both of them? No, this whole issue is because Muirfield is an old institution, a private institution, and social activists see them as another notch in the belt. 

If I were Rory, I wouldn't play in Dubai. 

The reason the Girl Scouts (and other women's only organizations were formed) is because women were specifically excluded from other organizations. They arose in response to discrimination, to give them a space to do the same things that men do. If they hadn't been discriminated against in the first place, then those organizations more than likely wouldn't have popped up. 

It should also be noted that the argument of "private courses have the right to set the policies they want" is the same argument that whites-only country clubs made for years and years to exclude black golfers. I'm not calling you or anyone else racist, just pointing out the similarity in the arguments. 

4 hours ago, freshmanUTA said:

I think talking about anything regarding Islamic rule and their misogynistic laws is a double edge sword these days. I would stay silent on that topic just because of the islamophobic label that the media is quick to use like it's nothing.

This is an opinion, and not one with a basis in fact. 

4 hours ago, freshmanUTA said:

My biggest problem is that he's a guest invited to play for a lot of money, he should just keep quiet and let the media handle the inequalities or injustices, you're there to play golf.

He certainly should not be quiet. If you believe in something, speak up for it. He has power, and should use it to help others. 

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