In Spite of SCOTUS Decision, Pro Golfer Still Facing Discrimination
Posted on Jul 19, 2013
In PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin, a 2001 case before the United States Supreme Court, it was decided that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Casey Martin, a professional golfer with a disability making it difficult to walk, must be allowed use of a golf cart during competition. Considering the decision came down 7-2, many people might assume that the controversy around the case has been resolved.
Unfortunately for Casey Martin—as well as Americans with disabilities everywhere—the PGA may not have fully accepted the decision or fully educated their associates on disability access.
Martin has dealt with the degenerative circulatory disorder Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome for his entire life. Over time, this rare birth defect has eroded the bones in his right leg, making it extremely difficult—and dangerous—to walk for extended periods.
This year, during a U.S. Junior Amateur competition in Oceanside, California, Martin was again denied use of a cart. The refusal was allegedly in accordance with USGA regulations.
“I’ve never felt more discriminated against or unfairly taken advantage of in my entire life,” said the University of Oregon coach.
Martin said that the USGA has privately apologized and promised him appropriate accommodations for the rest of the tour. At this time, Martin is holding off on a lawsuit, but strongly feels the USGA should offer a public apology for the incident.
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