The PGA of America, which will stage the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte despite the organization’s vehement objection to North Carolina’s anti-LGBT legislation, seems to want to have it both ways.
Unlike the NBA, which announced on Thursday it would move next year's All-Star Game from Charlotte because it opposed the law that restricts anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people (HB2), the PGA on Friday threatened a future boycott of the state but will stay there for next year’s final major of the season.
"The PGA of America strongly opposes North Carolina HB2," the organization said in a statement that followed the NBA’s decision to yank its mid-season showcase event. "It contradicts our commitment to create an inclusive and welcoming environment at our events. We remain hopeful that the law will be changed. As we look to future events, our willingness to consider coming back to the State of North Carolina will be severely impacted unless HB2 is overturned."
The PGA cancelled its 2015 Grand Slam of Golf rather than hold it at a Donald Trump-owned course after the Republican candidate for president made offensive remarks about illegal immigrants a year ago. This time around, despite its strongly worded comments, the PGA chose to get around the law by invoking HB2's exclusion of private companies, universities, or country clubs from its restrictions.
"We plan to allow spectators to use the restroom that conforms with their gender identity or gender expression," the PGA said.
In June, PGA of America chief executive Pete Bevacqua said on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio that his association would look into an alternate site for next year’s PGA but in the end decided otherwise.
Quail Hollow has been a regular stop on the PGA Tour since 2003, hosting what is now known as the Wells Fargo Championship each May. Next year's PGA will be the first time the club has hosted a major.