Lee Elder had an emotional moment when he joined Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus as the ceremonial starters for The Masters this past weekend. Elder was the first black man to ever compete in the event, so seeing him tee it up with a couple of golf’s biggest legends was very fitting. Unfortunately, Elder’s moment didn’t come without controversy.
When Lee Elder was getting introduced by The Masters chairman, Gary Players’ son, Wayne (who was caddying for his father) leaned into the picture to show his golf ball brand. It was clearly an effort to promote his brand, and a disrespectful act given the emotional moment at hand.
— The Masters (@TheMasters) April 8, 2021
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) April 8, 2021
Wayne Player spoke on the backlash he was receiving from golf fans all over the world.
“The only thought from that point was that it would be cool for fans to know what ball my dad was teeing off with,” Wayne told Golf Digest.
“That’s where it ends. If I’ve hurt people’s feelings then I’m truly sorry and hope they will forgive me.”
Gary Players’ other son, Mark, has revealed that Wayne has now been banned from The Masters and Augusta National Golf Course.
“Wayne has since correctly been banned from Augusta National and The Masters tournament,” Mark player wrote in a response on Twitter. “What a shame. What an embarrassment. What a bad decision to allow him on the first tee after years of similar shenanigans. My apologies to all.”
Agreed. Wayne has since correctly been banned from Augusta National and The Masters tournament. What a shame. What an embarrassment. What a bad decision to allow him on the first tee after years of similar shenanigans. My apologies to all.
— Marc Player (@Marc_Player) April 12, 2021
Definitely the right move to ban Wayne Player from The Masters and Augusta National. Also, what a sorry response to the criticism. Nobody cares what golf ball your dad is teeing off with, dude.
Luckily, Lee Elder’s moment was still phenomenal, and hopefully he enjoyed every last minute of it.
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