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Sport Opinion: Pressure lands on Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley as Georgia's voting law scrutinized

01:45  06 april  2021
01:45  06 april  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) says his state's new voting law expands ballot access Tucker Carlson has hit out at British Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey after the soft drink chief slammed Georgia ' s new voting law following mounting pressure Opinion : Pondering a now-illegal bottle of water in Ga .

Georgia is one of more than 40 states in which Republicans are pushing for a tightening of rules around voting , mainly targeting those who do not vote on the day at polling stations. Although there was no evidence of widespread fraud in the last presidential election, many Republican voters have supported ex-President Donald Trump' s unfounded allegations of voting irregularities. Data from the National Conference of State Legislatures shows Republicans have legislative control in 30 states and unified control - including the governorship - in 23 states, far more than Democrats.

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Controversy has arrived once again at the doorstep of Augusta National Golf Club. This most mysterious and beautiful sports venue, fashioned as an oasis representing a simpler time, has for decades tried to shield itself from the pressures and politics of current-day Americana.

Mostly, it has succeeded. When the real world demanded more, the club acquiesced, eventually. There are Black members now, and women, but not many. This is still almost exclusively a white man’s playground, which makes the confluence of events at this moment in the state in which it is located all the more fascinating.

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Georgia ' s controversial new voting law is at the center of an intense debate over Major League MLB decides to move All-star game and draft from Georgia | mgoblog. You're next, Augusta ! Georgia continues to make national headlines as rhetoric intensifies about the new law that overhauls the

Fred Scobie Ridley (born August 16, 1952) is an American amateur golfer and golf administrator who won the U. S . Amateur in 1975 and became chairman of Augusta National Golf Club in 2017. Ridley was born in Lakeland, Florida. He attended Winter Haven High School in nearby Winter Haven, Florida.

Ten days ago, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law a sweeping Republican-sponsored voter suppression bill that includes new restrictions on voting by mail, greater GOP legislative control over state and county election officials and a prohibition against outside groups giving food or water to people waiting in line to vote.

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The bill, which civil rights groups believe will restrict voting access for people of color, is rooted in former President Trump’s notoriously false claims that the 2020 election was stolen, both across the nation and in Georgia. Not insignificant to this conversation is the fact that President Biden won Georgia, while both of the state’s Republican-held U.S. Senate seats were won by Democrats.

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Fred Ridley wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament poses with champion Tsubasa Kajitani of Okayama, Japan, after the Augusta National Women's Amateur. © Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament poses with champion Tsubasa Kajitani of Okayama, Japan, after the Augusta National Women's Amateur.

Kemp signed the law March 25 with six white men by his side and a painting of a former slave plantation behind him.

Little more than a week later, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that the 2021 All-Star Game was being moved out of Atlanta. The reason? The new Georgia law.

“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” Manfred said in a statement.

His momentous decision and its timing right before the next big sports event in the state immediately put Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley on the clock. (In a plot twist few probably saw coming, Manfred also happens to be a member of Augusta National.)

Yes, the Georgia election law is that bad

  Yes, the Georgia election law is that bad The debate over whether Georgia’s law really suppresses voting reveals just how imperiled American democracy is.In the New York Times, Nate Cohn concluded that “the law’s voting provisions are unlikely to significantly affect turnout or Democratic chances.” Slate’s Will Saletan notes that some provisions really are troubling, but that the bill also contains good provisions and that critics have “overhyped” their concerns. Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, writes that “the idea this is an epic war on voting rights is simply absurd.

By keeping the Tour Championship in Georgia , the PGA will avoid facing the wrath of state Governor Brian Kemp, who lashed out at MLB over the weekend about the All-Star Game being removed from Atlanta. The final FedEx Cup playoff event, the Tour Championship is played annually at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta and will take place as planned in August. The Masters, which will begin this week at Georgia ’ s Augusta National Golf Club, will also go off without a hitch, though chairman Fred Ridley is expected to address the voting law before the tournament begins.

What the Georgia voting law really does. Tucker Carlson has hit out at British Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey after the soft drink chief slammed Georgia ' s new voting law following mounting pressure Opinion : Children of civil rights icons object to new Georgia voting law .

So what will Ridley do? There have been calls to move the Masters out of Georgia, but that’s not happening. Of course it isn't. The Masters and Augusta National are synonymous. If you move the Masters out of Georgia, it’s no longer the Masters.

The pressure on Ridley is far more nuanced. He speaks Wednesday at his annual chairman’s news conference where he will be expected to discuss what he and the club think about this law, and what they will do about it, if anything.

Ringing the room will be dozens of green-jacketed Augusta National members, many of them titans of American industry, including some of the most powerful people in Georgia. If they had wanted to, they most likely could have convinced Kemp to not sign that law. Whether that thought even crossed their minds is debatable; one has to presume that many of them voted for Trump. Perhaps they even like the law.

Ridley will let us know. He has followed the lead of former chairman Billy Payne, who brought in the club’s first two women members in 2012 and started a kids’ competition for both boys and girls in 2013, by bringing slow but steady change to the place. Some of us never believed they would hold a women’s tournament at Augusta National; the second installment of their Women’s Amateur was just held on Saturday.

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  Fact check: Republicans falsely equate Georgia and Colorado election laws Republicans have blasted Major League Baseball for moving its All-Star Game from Georgia to Colorado because of Georgia's controversial new elections law. © Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 10: Georgia Governor Brian Kemp speaks during a press conference announcing expanded statewide COVID testing on August 10, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. Recently a high school in Georgia had to switch back to virtual learning after 9 people tested positive for the coronavirus when the school opened for regular in-person classes.

a close up of a sign: The Masters flagstick on the 17th green during a practice round at Augusta National Golf Club. © Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports The Masters flagstick on the 17th green during a practice round at Augusta National Golf Club.

Not a year goes by without Ridley talking about issues of diversity and inclusion in golf, topics that are essential to the game’s demographic and economic future. Yet, while practically every other sport has undergone a reckoning over the last year in the wake of the death of George Floyd, golf remains predictably untouched by American cultural and racial change.

Golf and social justice have a most interesting relationship. Basically, they don’t have one. Ridley is one of the very few people who can do something about that, starting this Wednesday.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Opinion: Pressure lands on Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley as Georgia's voting law scrutinized

Georgia voting law explained: Here's what to know about the state's new election rules .
Republican lawmakers in Georgia have overhauled the state's elections. Here's a breakdown of what will change under Senate Bill 202.Democrats and civil-rights groups panned the voting bill, and major Georgia-based corporations came out against the bill after it was passed. GOP state lawmakers who backed the bill and other Republicans nationwide harshly criticized the backlash, calling for boycotts of brands like Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines.

usr: 4
This is interesting!