Monday, April 11, 2011

The Men's Club

It seemed to get lost in what turned into a very dramatic final round, but once again the Masters suffered a bit of a black eye over its treatment of women.

The Masters has quickly apologized for barring a female reporter from entering the locker room Sunday to conduct a post-match interview. "It should not have happened," said Masters spokesman Steve Ethun. "We will work as hard as we can to make sure it does not happen again." Nice words, but they didn't help Tara Sullivan of The Bergen (N.J.) Record who missed her interview with Rory McIlroy.

On the one hand you tend to look at this as a minor blip on the screen; very few places handle media relations better than Augusta National. Several female reporters at the tournament confirmed they had made numerous trips to the locker room for interviews in the past without incident. On the other hand, it's hard to believe stuff like this is still going on in 2011, and of all places the Masters should know better. Augusta National still doesn't allow female members and its highly publicized fight with activist Martha Burk still simmers.

What happened Sunday with Sullivan will probably end up as just a footnote to the 2011 Masters, but it does seem to suggest that the place where tradition is a way of life may have a hard time learning its lesson.