The PGA tour’s most successful player ever has called out the association for engaging in “cancel culture” against former President Donald Trump.
Jack Nicklaus, the winner of a record 18 major golf titles, decried the PGA Championship having been pulled from one of Mr. Trump’s golf courses.
PGA chief Seth Waugh “took the job because he thought he could give the PGA of America some good guidance. And I think he’s doing that. But this move is cancel culture,” Mr. Nicklaus said in an interview that was published Monday.
Mr. Waugh pulled this week’s PGA Championship from Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey, to its current site of Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The change in venue came in January 2021, shortly after the U.S. Capitol riots also led to Mr. Trump being banned from most social media.
“We’re fiduciaries for our members, for the game, for our mission and for our brand,” Mr. Waugh said then. “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.”
A legal dispute resulted, but was settled on undisclosed terms in December.
But Mr. Nicklaus, 82, said Mr. Trump’s contributions to golf are important but being ignored for political reasons.
“Donald Trump may be a lot of things, but he loves golf and he loves this country. He’s a student of the game and a formidable figure in the game. What he does in the future in golf will depend on what the cancel culture will allow him to do,” the golf legend told Fire Pit Collective for a broad article about this weekend’s PGA Championship and some of pro golfing’s financial and tour disputes.
Mr. Nicklaus, who has worked with Mr. Trump, was asked by reporter Michael Bamberger whether Mr. Trump has said anything about the PGA’s cancellation.
“He hasn’t said a word about it,” he said. “Not to me.”