Mike Davis, Executive Director
United States Golf Association
77 Liberty Corner Road
Far Hills, NJ 07931
Tel: (908) 234-2300
Dear USGA, USGA Executive Committee, USGA staff:
My name is Cedrick Smith, M.D.,
In 1991, during its inaugural internship program, I was selected as a Howard Creel fellow with the United State Golf Association. Leading into that same year, I was a two-time NMGCA All-America golfer at Hampton University and made the Golf Coaches Association of America All-America academic/golf team. I graduated Hampton University in 1992. I currently receive yearly credentials from the USGA for the United States Open Championship because of the aforementioned honor. My brother and I have our annual golf trip planned around the event and have been fortunate to attend the last ten. I have been a golfer for over three decades, a doctor for two and an athlete all my life. I will be boycotting subsequent US Open Championships as long as there is an affiliation with Trump.
Above (L-R): Cedrick Smith, M.D. with his brother Kev Smith, M.D.
I have practiced in a setting where my patient population has consistently been over 70 percent Latino and immigrant. These are hard-working individuals who make significant contributions to Houston, the state of Texas and the nation at large. Additionally, I work with Latino-American colleagues – some descendants of immigrants – who comprise a team that has been designated as ‘elite’ because of their work ethic and vigilance to patient care. They, too, take great exception to his comments. My entrenched relationship with patients, colleagues, family, and friends is what has led me to write this letter.
When racism rears its head, it has to be challenged and rebuked even when one is not a part of the group being marginalized. Trump is a throwback to when I was a kid and eager to succeed at this sport and, simply because of my melanin count, was kept from the private country club greens one block from my house in Dallas, Texas. He would have been the sneering rich man complaining about my presence on the greens as a player and NOT as a caddy. Mr. Trump’s comments were incendiary and racist and his championing the ‘birther’ movement against our President Obama was rooted in ‘veiled’ racism – period!
Above (L-R): Cedrick Smith, M.D., professional golfer Tim O’Neal,
Kevin Smith, M.D. at 2015 US Open Chambers Bay
How does the USGA make sense in aligning with Mr. Trump when you are now rooted in the movement of inclusion? I recently saw a Golf Channel interview with Peter Jacobsen where he espoused his reverence to the USGA by stating, “…it is the greatest organization in the world…” The tepid response to Mr. Trump’s egregious and denigrating comments speaks to where the organization stands and that is most disappointing and now makes me question the Jacobsen comment.
The game of golf has a long history of racism and I have felt its sting from my junior golf days through today – in 2014, I was turned away from a practice round I had set up for an amateur tournament when I showed up ‘black’; “…we are a very exclusive golf club…” is what I was told. As a longtime supporter of the USGA, I am writing to request that the USGA completely and permanently disassociate itself from Donald Trump because of his disparaging remarks about Latino Americans and immigrants. He does not deserve the 2017 US Women’s Open.
When I saw Mr. David Fay, former Executive Director of the USGA, 10 years ago he recalled my honor and referred to me as “family” because of the fellowship. This hurts, but Donald Trump is not in alignment with the recently established inclusive intent and tenets of the USGA – his behavior and comments are not “for the good of the game” (nor good for our country). The USGA should move all championships to be played on his courses to other venues.
Cedrick Smith, M.D.
USGA – Howard Creel Fellow 1991
Cedrick Smith, M.D. resides in Houston, Texas and specializes in Preventive Medicine. He grew up in Dallas, Texas and attended David W. Carter High School then went on to Hampton University on a golf scholarship. The money he would have spent on his annual US Open trip was donated to community groups, organizations and individuals dedicated to social justice. Additionally, he sent out tweets, email messages and Facebook posts about the “USGA Letter” to garner support. He believes that putting effective pressure on the USGA and its sponsors will ultimately lead to a change of venue for the 2017 Women’s US Open to be played at Trump National – Bedminster. Doctor Smith says that he will not be attending any US Open tournaments or any USGA sponsored events until all ties with Trump are severed. He thanks all for the support in this endeavor.
Editor’s note: Doctor Smith’s US Open letter was written two weeks after Trump’s remarks during the announcement of his candidacy in 2015.
READ USGA RESPONSE HERE
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