Sports and politics have always had a contentious yet intimate relationship. Unfortunately, Bills’ safety Jordan Poyer just learned that reality the hard way.
Over the weekend, Poyer, in an Instgram video, revealed that his golf tournament had been canceled as some teams and a sponsor pulled out of the event due to where it was scheduled to be held.
“I regret to inform you that my annual Golf Event in South Florida to help raise money for the community, originally scheduled for July 10th at the Blue Monster at Trump National in Doral, has been rescheduled for next year,” wrote Poyer on his post. “Unfortunately, the location of the event led to a few sponsors and golfers withdrawing at the last minute due to external pressures.”
Poyer also noted that while it’s disappointing, he respected the decision and that he’s working on next year’s event.
According to the Buffalo News, Poyer’s annual golf charity event was to benefit the ECMC foundation, which seeks to improve high education opportunities for underserved communities. Its executive director, Susan Gonzalez, issued a statement regarding the event’s cancelation as well.
“ECMC Foundation was fortunate to be a beneficiary of Jordan Poyer’s golf tournament in Florida. Although the Foundation was not a sponsor, we have had an excellent partnership with Jordan and we respect his decision to cancel his tournament; we hope he will consider supporting us in his future events.”
Poyer’s representatives at the Avalon Group issued their own statement on Twitter.
“Our main goal was to raise funds for the Buffalo community,” wrote Avalon Sports.
But the last two paragraphs of Avalon’s response were the most surprising and extremely hypocritical.
“Unfortunately, we were sadly surprised by negative comments by some individuals trying to make this a political battle and continue to divide our community.
“We condemn any type of violence and stand by Jordan as he continues to work to make a positive impact and be a role model for our community.”
Avalon’s PR spin exemplifies the blinders many in sports try to don when politics are involved, especially when those politics are oppressive, discriminatory, vicious and, as we’ve witnessed lately, violent.
Not only was the event to be held at a Trump-owned property but it was also in Florida, where DeSantis is vindictively spreading his fascist rule across the state, punishing all who defy his evil agenda.
Yet Poyer and Avalon didn’t address that fact.
I know that Poyer lives in the Sunshine State in the offseason and that many golf tournaments are held in Florida.
But why pick a course owned by a hateful man who continues to divide the country? And why hold the event in a state run by an authoritarian who wants to rule the country with an oppressive iron fist?
Regardless of the event’s good intentions, the pushback should have been predictable for it simultaneously benefits those who separate and incite hatred through their words and actions.
The statements by Poyer and Avalon also wrongly point fingers at those who spoke out against the event’s location. These groups didn’t lash out against Poyer, Avalon or the ECMC Foundation. Instead, they were doing what more in the sports community should be doing in the fight against hate.
But Poyer and Avalon tried to blame people fighting against discrimination. At one point in his video, Poyer even tried to blame New York politics instead of standing up to parties who are attempting to crush the basic human rights of marginalized communities.
Then again, this isn’t even about politics.
This is about decency, civility and humanity.
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