The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of America says it will no longer hold its 2022 PGA Championship at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., citing the toxicity of the president’s brand.
“It has become clear that conducting the PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand, and would put at risk the PGA’s ability to deliver our many programs, and sustain the longevity of our mission,” said Jim Richerson, president of the PGA of America, in a video statement.
“We have had a beautiful partnership with the PGA of America and are incredibly disappointed with their decision,” the Trump Organization said in a statement to the New York Times on Sunday. “This is a breach of a binding contract, and they have no right to terminate the agreement.”
"The PGA of America Board of Directors voted tonight to exercise the right to terminate the agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster." — Jim Richerson, PGA of America President
— PGA of America (@PGA) January 11, 2021
“We find ourselves in a political situation not of our making,” said Seth Waugh, CEO of the PGA of America, in an interview with the Associated Press. He added that the deal was signed in 2014, before Trump launched his political career.
“We’re fiduciaries for our members, for the game, for our mission and for our brand. And how do we best protect that? Our feeling was, given the tragic events of Wednesday, that we could no longer hold it at Bedminster. The damage could have been irreparable. The only real course of action was to leave.”
The decision comes as many seek to distance themselves from Trump, who egged on his supporters before they attacked the U.S. Capitol in hopes of overturning the election on Jan. 6. Six people, including two police officers, have died as a result of the attacks.
Trump, who once promised his followers they’d get “sick and tired of winning,” has lost many times since Joe Biden beat him by seven million votes in the Nov. 3 election. The losing has only ramped up since the riot.
Trump’s lawyers lost dozens of court cases in a failed attempt to prove his baseless claims of systemic voter fraud. The president also lost several bids to convince Republican lawmakers to overturn the Electoral College results, after it became clear that he had no grounds to win in court.
Trump lost a final bid last week to convince Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally throw out the election result — something Pence said he did not have the authority to do. Nevertheless, Trump suggested it was possible during his rally in Washington, D.C., last Wednesday, before his supporters stormed the Capitol.
The pro-Trump riot triggered a wave of unprecedented backlash against the president. Several White House officials resigned, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle called for Trump to step down or be removed from office.
Trump also lost his social media megaphone, as Twitter and Facebook booted him off their platforms for his incendiary rhetoric.
Google, Apple and Amazon have taken steps to cripple Parler, the social media platform that offers a safe space for conservatives and far-right conspiracy theorists, including many who joined the riot. Trump allies had called for him to migrate to Parler after he lost his Twitter account.
Trump and many of his Republican enablers are also losing key financial partners in the wake of the riots.
Shopify, which is based in Canada, removed various Trump-related stores on Thursday, while the financial services company Stripe says it will stop processing payments for the Trump campaign.
American Express and JPMorgan Chase have said they will no longer donate to GOP candidates who challenged the certification of Joe Biden’s election win last week in a stunt that was based on Trump’s false claims of voter fraud. Citigroup says it will suspend federal political donations for three months, the Associated Press reports.
House Democrats introduced articles of impeachment on Monday, and called for Pence to remove Trump from office under the 25th Amendment.
If he is not removed beforehand, Trump will lose the powers of the president at noon on Jan. 20.
— With files from The Associated Press
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