More From The Duffer
As I mentioned in a recent post, from time to time I’ll be running some material here authored by Adam Fonseca, A.K.A. the Chicago Duffer. Adam had the following take on the PGA of America’s dismissal of President Ted Bishop. It’s worth a read.
TED BISHOP DID NOT GET FIRED FOR WHAT HE TWEETED
Former President of the PGA of America Ted Bishop was removed from office on Friday following what can only be described as a mammoth lapse in common sense and common respect just one day prior (to put it lightly). While the resulting headlines all pointed to Bishop’s firing as a repercussion for calling Ian Poulter a ‘little girl’ on social media, anyone with half a brain should realize his most recent tribulation was merely the straw that broke the camel’s back.
No, Ted Bishop did not get fired for what he wrote on Facebook and Twitter. At least, it wasn’t the only reason.
Over the course of his two-year term as President of the PGA, Bishop has made multiple questionable decisions that would ultimately snowball into Friday’s pathetic demise. We need not look further than the last 12 months to find glaring examples of such decisions, highlighted by Bishop allowing for play to continue in the dark at the PGA Championship (a move that caused more than a little displeasure from Phil Mickelson and others) and choosing Tom Watson to captain a pitiful U.S. Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles (Phil didn’t like that, either).
Bishop’s poor choice of words via social media was all that the PGA Board of Directors needed to finally find a reason to get this guy out of office, albeit only a month before his term ended anyway.
Unfortunately for Bishop, his presidency will be remembered as much for the terms of his firing as what ultimately lead up to Friday’s decision over the course of two years. As Golf.com managing editor Eamon Lynch quipped about Bishop, “[he] often exhibited two traits that make for a combustible combination: a volatile personality and a fondness for media grandstanding, so the only surprise is that it took him so long to self-immolate.” In other words, there weren’t too many people who were surprised by what Bishop posted on Thursday. Ted’s gonna Ted.
I would be remiss to not at least mention the massive microscope under which all professional sports now reside due to multiple headlines for which Bishop is not responsible. The disgusting mistreatment and criminal abuse of women among a select few professional athletes has saturated the news reel, putting all organizations on high alert as a result. To say that Bishop’s ‘insult-of-choice’ couldn’t have come at a worse time would be putting it lightly. The PGA was left with no choice but to act swiftly in this matter, and they certainly did so.
But let’s call a spade a spade. Bishop was not fired only for what he wrote.
If I have learned anything over my decade of sports journalism, it is that social themes and hot topics influence organizational behavior to the extreme. Call it ‘maintaining good public relations’ or ‘damage control’ all you want; the fact is that the court of public opinion has a tight grip on our society. Obviously, this is not to suggest that abhorrent behavior should be excused in any way; but I can’t help but wonder how quickly “awareness” escalates into a “witch hunt” in some cases.
I’ve never met the man, but I am willing to bet that Ted Bishop is not a sexist. I’m also willing to wager that he feels absolutely awful and is legitimately remorseful for his choice of words (and not just because he got fired). Bishop is not a victim in any way, either. He made a massive mistake which was made worse by the world in which he lives and by a series of ill-informed decisions he made over the course of two years.
That being said, Ted Bishop should not be remembered for his mistakes. Nor should anyone.
Thanks, Adam. And while I don’t think I agree entirely with the media’s reaction to Ted’s comment, the end result was inevitable because Ted is a huge jackass. Those of you asking, “what does it matter because he was out in a month anyway?”, there’s more to it than that. Past PGA presidents receive a lot of perks. They’re considered Honorary Presidents. Bishop won’t have that status. He retains his status as a PGA member, he can go to events and vote, but nothing else. His firing is much like a dishonorable discharge from the military. With that I’m closing the book on Bishop, the topic isn’t worth my time and Adam pretty much nailed it.
Next up, the Shutter for Player of the Year. I don’t think this will be the landslide you think it should be. Stay tuned.