What does someone first think of when they hear "The Masters”?
Golf. That’s the answer.
It is an event that has long transcended the world of sports. Even those who have no idea the difference between a Bogey and a Birdie know that 'The Masters' is ‘that one golf event with the green jacket thing’.
Apparently, Deadspin disagrees.
In an article written on Monday, Rob Parker is adamant that we cannot stop the massive wave of “cancellations” that are sweeping across society without changing the name of The Masters major golf tournament: “The name ‘The Masters’ must go.”
For the record, the name comes from the fact that the event was created for ‘the masters of golf’. It had nothing to do with slavery or Jim Crow (although it is common knowledge that blacks were certainly still oppressed at the name's genesis.)
So what is Parker’s reasoning for this name change?
“And be honest. When you hear anyone say the Masters, you think of slave masters in the South. There’s nothing else, nothing special. You don’t think of someone mastering the game of golf. When has anyone mastered golf?”
I was under the impression that Deadspin was a site that promoted “Sports News Without Fear, Favor, or Compromise.”
If someone, writing for a “sports news” website (meaning they are theoretically educated on sports), really does not think of a golf tournament when they hear the term "The Masters," might I suggest a career change?
But, for argument’s sake, let’s say that we accept Parker’s premise.
His solution sounds like a simple one: Just change it back to the "Augusta National Invitational." But then, just a few paragraphs later, he says, “The only thing worse than the name of the event is the actual venue.”
So if you change the name of the event back to the location of the event, and the location of the event is, in fact, worse than the current name of the event, then how long is it going to be until Parker is writing about how the name is still racist?
When you start casting stones at everything that has ever been party to sin, eventually, there will be nothing left standing.
This is the exact same line of thinking that people use when they believe that no one can/should appreciate a piece of art without condoning the personal life of the artist. It just makes no sense.
In a single article about something as simple as the name of a professional golf event, Parker managed to, unintentionally, expose this toxic slippery-slope more poignantly than many conservatives could ever do.
For that, I am both impressed and thankful.