This fall, Haskins enrolled in an online course through Cornell University to earn a diversity and inclusion certificate. One of the lessons, he said, was that meaningful diversity in a club or company can only come about if the people brought in are not expected to adapt to the existing environment, but are encouraged to add their unique perspective.
Upon When he heard the news that Augusta National had accepted his proposal, Haskins was reflective.
"It's important for Augusta National to do this right now," said Haskins, now the Professional Collegiate's chief marketing officer. League. "I think it's extraordinarily special. I know it's going to mean a lot to the people of color who want to see more reflections of themselves in the game."
Still, he continued to have doubts as to whether the club's power brokers were determined to change the culture. “What are they doing from this day forward to create a climate that is welcoming, comfortable and allows people to be their authentic selves?” Haskins said.
In 2008 Kenton Makin , a black sports journalist, commissioned to write the Masters for The Aiken Standard, a South Carolina daily, walked around the grounds noting that most of the patrons, as the audience is called, were white. picking up the trash and serving him food at the media center were black.
"I felt that fear, that discomfort," Makin said.
He was at the event again in 2012, he said, and since then he has not been back. Makin, who now hosts a podcast, said, "I call it" that golf tournament ". The reason I call it" that golf tournament "is that I call it the Masters when you see the sordid history, I think the Masters in and in itself has an ideology that can be traced back literally to white supremacy. ”
Like Augusta National's loblolly pines, some of which predate the Civil War, could talk, they would tell the story of a piece of land that disappeared from an indigo plantation in the mid-19th century to a private white male society that reflected the racist mores of the 20th century to a private wealthy society in the 21st century that hosts the world's most prestigious professional golf tournament, has Black and female members and now even oversees an amateur tournament for women.