This past week has been very difficult for many reasons, not least of which is we’ve seen all but elite sports forced to close and in true 21st century fashion, the sporting public en masse has taken to social media to express dissatisfaction with the decision and point out the various anomalies in the ‘logic’.
As a golfer and someone whose living is made from golf I feel the pain that is being expressed possibly more than most, but the flurry of petitions and the tone of the general outrage has left me thinking that people aren’t really getting it.
Calling for ‘Golf to be opened now’ or for an exception to be made for golf only aggravates the situation, plays to the elitist stereotypes we’re trying to get out of the game and it has already been made very clear that this isn’t going to happen, for golf or any other sport, so what’s the point?
This lockdown and the associated closures are not specific to sport and they are intended to reduce public movement, thus reducing the spread of the virus, rather than being specifically targeted at industries that are ‘unsafe’.
In today’s Irish Times there are letters to the Editor which highlight some of the opinions in relation to sport being closed and it’s hard to argue with them. There are also online petitions aplenty calling for the rules to be changed and on every online platform you visit, keyboard warriors nationwide are having their say, some of which would fall in the NSFW category.
I agree that a golf course is definitely one of the safest places you could be and that all measures have been taken to ensure this, but it is the issue of public movement that is being addressed, so why don’t we all get behind this lockdown and do everything we can to make sure it’s the last one we get?
And therein lies the rub! We don’t know if it’s the last one, no-one can tell us for sure and this is where I think the online petitions and letters could make a difference.
If things get worse again and we find ourselves on the verge of another lockdown, perhaps the powers that be might just take notice of public opinion and be more reasonable down the line? There are no guarantees of course, but if we can be firm yet reasonable in our arguments, faced as we are with no other choice, then we might have a chance of lessening the impact a third lockdown could have our our industry and our lives.
Let’s keep up the fight but let’s be civil. Sign the petitions if it makes you feel better about things or if you agree that it might help in future. Stop apportioning blame to the governing bodies, they’re only doing what they’re told after all. Be vocal, but respectful and express opinions in a way that ensures they get listened to should we find ourselves in this position again.