PGA Tour issues statement on Georgia voting law, will continue to hold Tour Championship in Atlanta

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The PGA Tour will continue to hold the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta this September, it said in a statement released late Friday. The announcement comes after the Georgia State Legislature passed controversial new voting regulations last week that prompted Major League Baseball to decide to move its All-Star Game from Atlanta this summer.

In the release, the tour cited the commitment that the event has made to investing in the local East Lake community and the charitable dollars the tournament has raised to help “transform distressed neighborhoods into healthy and thriving ones, which is a key to ending the cycle of intergenerational poverty.” The tour also stated: “Our intention to stage an event in a particular market should not be construed as indifference to the current national conversation around voting rights.”

In addition to the Tour Championship, the PGA Tour hosts the RSM Classic in Sea Island, Ga.

The PGA Tour does not, however, run the most prominent golf event held in Georgia, the Masters, which is set to be played next week. That major is run by Augusta National Golf Club. The club has not made any comment regarding the Georgia law, although civil rights groups have urged the club to not hold the event.

Here is the tour’s complete statement:

At the heart of the PGA TOUR’s charitable mission is a commitment to serving and supporting communities where we play, across the country and around the world. In Georgia, this commitment has resulted in more than $38 million generated for local charitable organizations since the TOUR Championship—our season-ending event—moved to Atlanta in 1998. The TOUR Championship’s commitment to East Lake has helped our partners transform distressed neighborhoods into healthy and thriving ones, which is a key to ending the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

The charitable and economic benefits that have led to these substantial changes would not continue if we simply walked away from those in need. We intend to maintain our commitment to the East Lake Foundation, Grove Park Foundation, Purpose Built Schools Atlanta and First Tee of Metro Atlanta by staging the TOUR Championship at the East Lake Golf Club in September, and we will work with our community partners to continue to deliver much-needed support and influence positive change.

However, our intention to stage an event in a particular market should not be construed as indifference to the current national conversation around voting rights. The PGA TOUR fully supports efforts to protect the right of all Americans to vote and to eliminate any barriers that may prevent citizens’ voices from being heard and counted. It is the foundation of our great country and a critical national priority to listen to the concerns about voter suppression—especially from communities of color that have been marginalized in the past—and work together to make voting easier for all eligible citizens.

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