In a surprise break with tradition, the Professional Golf Association just announced that it will move its prestigious PGA Cadillac Championship from Trump National Doral in Miami to Mexico City. The announcement came after Cadillac pulled their sponsorship of the event. This will be the first time since 1962 that the event has not been held in Miami.
The move comes after Donald Trump, the resort’s owner and presumptive Republican presidential nominee, announced his intent to build a wall between the United States and Mexico and institute mass deportations of illegal immigrants. Trump has also made numerous controversial comments regarding individuals of Hispanic heritage, including Gonzalo Curiel, the U.S. district judge presiding over lawsuits involving the now-defunct Trump University.
Grupo Salinas, a television and financial services conglomerate out of Mexico, assumed sponsorship of the event when no other American corporations stepped forward. Although it is not unusual for companies to pull their sponsorship of sporting events, it is highly unusual not to find another company willing to fill in the gap. Even during difficult economic times, the PGA has always been able to sign lucrative sponsorship deals with American companies.
Trump responded to the news of the move in a recent Fox News appearance by saying, “…I hope they have kidnapping insurance.” The PGA may be trying to distance itself from the controversial presidential hopeful in an effort to rehabilitate its own less than stellar record regarding race relations. The sport of golfing has had to overcome the use of membership restrictions at many golf clubs that discriminated against African-Americans, Latinos, Jews, and other groups in order to be accepted into the American mainstream.