A poll of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Teachers reveals a majority thinks former PGA of America President Ted Bishop should not have lost his job after calling Ian Poulter a ‘lil girl’ on social media last week.
Sixty-five percent of teachers responded “no” when asked if Bishop deserved to lose his job. Thirty-five percent agreed with the actions taken by the PGA of America Board of Directors, who removed Bishop from office after he criticized Poulter on Twitter and later compared him on Facebook to a "little school girl squealing during recess."
“The PGA’s actions are to me embarrassing, but there is nothing new on that count,” said one teacher, who was granted anonymity to speak freely. “I lost respect for our organization a long time ago … The only rational explanation for the Board of Director’s actions is that they were executing the wishes of an undisclosed entity within the organization. And this individual or individuals were determined to eviscerate him and then watch with satisfaction as he bled out on the street before them.”
The PGA Code of Ethics (.PDF) has a “conduct unbecoming a professional,” which was reason enough for one respondent to support dismissing Bishop
“Ted’s comments were considered deeply offensive to several segments of the population … so it would qualify as ‘conduct unbecoming,’” said one Top 100 teacher. “Two things we can all learn is that the rules of engagement in the social media domain are different and if we are going to participate in that domain we need to understand those rules and how to participate.
“Ted Bishop taking on Ian Poulter in the Twitter domain was like a high school player taking on Rory McIlroy.”
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The PGA of America Board of Directors said in its release announing Bishop's removal that the remarks were “inconsistent with the policies of the PGA.”
“The PGA of America understands the enormous responsibility it has to lead this great game and to enrich lives in our society through golf,” PGA Chief Executive Officer Pete Bevacqua said in the release. “We must demand of ourselves that we make golf both welcoming and inclusive to all who want to experience it, and everyone
at the PGA of America must lead by example.”