Golf coach with leg disability denied use of golf cart

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Our society has come a long way in how it treats people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act was made law, protecting the many people in New York and throughout the country who live with a disability. Furthermore, society has come to understand and respect those with disabilities. While all of these things are evidence of good progress, some current events show that we still have a lot of work to do.

Last week, a former professional golfer and coach of a major university team were denied the use of a golf cart at an event. The coach was born with Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome, which makes it challenging for him to walk. Although some golf events do not allow the use of golf carts, it seems reasonable that an exception would be made for someone who cannot easily walk. In fact, the Supreme Court ruled that an exception must be made more than 10 years ago.

In 2001, the golfer took his case to the Supreme Court after not being allowed to use a golf cart during the PGA Tour. The Supreme Court decided in his favor, but for some reason, the U.S. Golf Association would not adhere to that ruling. According to the golfer, the chairman of the USGA agreed to let him use the cart before the event – where he was recruiting for the Oregon golf team – but then approached him on the course during the event and took it away.

Although the USGA later apologized, saying it was a misunderstanding, the golf coach said he had never experienced such discrimination over his disability before. As many people in New York may, unfortunately, be able to attest to, discrimination against those with disabilities still occurs in today’s world. Hopefully through continued advocacy from politicians and our community members, discrimination against people with disabilities will one day be a thing of the past.

Source: Golf Week, “Martin claims discrimination after cart revoked,” Cassie Stein, June 25, 2013

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