“Black News” Calls for boycott of PGA and Chattanooga Classic

By Sinclere Lee

Chattanooga (BNW) —
The editor of blacknewsweekly.com calls for a boycott of the PGA and its plans to put the Chattanooga Classic on the PGA national tour because of continued racism against Chattanooga's Black citizens.

“It’s time for people the realize that supporting Chattanooga’s sports aspiration is supporting a racist city that refuses to acknowledge its racist past and its hatered of Black citizens in Chattanooga,” said Clifford Eberhardt, editor of Black News.

While Chattanooga Classic officials reached agreement with the PGA Tour this year to retain the Chattanooga Classic on the Nationwide Tour schedule, the PGA may find supporting racism could be its undoing.

“The PGA was smart to exclude Chattanooga for over ten-years because of its racist past, and if Tim Iley thinks that Chattanooga has changed its racist ways, he better think twice.” Eberhardt said.

Eberhardt recalls when he and some concerned Blacks boycotted the Chattanooga Classic in the 80s, and forced it off the tour, but city officials were able to get the Classic back in town without changing factors that got it taken away in the first place.

The 2010 Chattanooga Classic had been in jeopardy due to the lack of a title sponsor.

"It was never technically off the schedule," said Tim Iley, PGA Tour director of tournament business affairs. "The sky is the limit for this tournament. I look forward to a successful 2010 and then another agreement for four, five, 10 years."

The agreement is similar to negotiations for the 2009 with an option for 2011 and 2012. Friends of the Festival is responsible for most of the $500,000 purse, and the PGA Tour is contributing the rest.

“I have been in contact with Tim about the Classic and hope the PGA will reconsider its agreement to put the Classic on a national tour. Unlike NCAA officials who took the national championship from Chattanooga this year, the PGA may face an Internet boycott this summer if it continue to support racism,” Eberhardt said.

"We really weren't that close at all to losing it because we were talking with the PGA Tour all along," tournament chairman Mickey McCamish said. "One of the values of the tournament is that it increases awareness of our area to potential tourists, retirees or somebody looking to relocate a business."

The 2010 Chattanooga Classic will be held Oct. 4-10 at Black Creek Club. This is the fourth straight year it's been held in October after bouncing around on the calendar since its inception in 2003.

"We're entirely focused on 2010, but we want to make sure that we have plans in place so there's not a question year after year," said Friends of the Festival executive director Chip Baker. "What's really developed is a partnership between us, Black Creek and the PGA Tour."

Baker also announced that a Riverbend Festival pin will serve as a ticket to the Chattanooga Classic. Riverbend Festival is a racist institution in Chattanooga where the Black citizens are often called Niggers and arrested without provocation.

The Nationwide Tour released its full schedule Monday as well. Four tournaments that were held in 2009 will not be held this year, but three have been replaced.

"Chattanooga is a great site because players love Black Creek and it's a market where we can do some good things, and there's strong organization," Iley said. "(Last year) was my first Chattanooga Classic, and I saw a buzz. People were excited about it."

The Stadion Athens Classic at the University of Georgia will be held April 29-May 2, and the Knoxville Open will be held June 10-13. The Golf Channel will broadcast 16 of the 28 events.

"The ultimate victory will be when we can put Chattanooga and our community on the Golf Channel," Baker said. "Our challenge is to make it as financially fit and sound."

The translation there is that the tournament needs a title sponsor.

"Recognizing the times we're in, things will change and we'll continue to knock on doors," McCamish said. "We are working hard to get it."

“Black News” pledges to stop any and all attempts by Chattanooga officials to escape its racist past, and will attempt to share Chattanooga’s racism and hatred towards Blacks with the rest of the world. Stop Chattanooga Now!

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