Elder Statesman At The Ryder Cup

Updated: September 20, 2008


With Tiger nowhere in sight

two other very prominent

African Americans were

Front and Center at the

2008 Ryder Cup at

Valhalla in Louisville

For Muhammad Ali of course it was a cameo appearance motivated by the presence of this year’s Ryder Cup Tournament in his city of Louisville, Kentucky. It’s unclear if he knew where he was. Still seeming to fade further and further away from Reality with each passing year Ali continues to have enough strength to show up be seen better idolized. The Nelson Mandela of Sports.

For Lee Elder there was far more Meaning

Lee Elder the FIRST African Americans to play for the USA in the Ryder Cup back in 1979, pitting the U.S best vs. the European best each September. Alternating between a top rated golf course here and there. This year Team USA’s turn to host at the well named Valhalla Golf Club.

Let’s add right here where it belongs Lee Elder’s selection for the 1979 Ryder Cup which USA won is the ONLY appearance by an African Americans in the entire history of the Ryder Cup except for of course Tiger Woods. The Ryder Cup was first played in 1927. So its history goes back 81 years.

As you see we have another of the endless examples this one in the Sport of Golf of African American EXCLUSION. Not that Black golfers who should have been chosen weren’t. NO its more insidious other than Lee Elder once and now Tiger Woods there are no African Americans out there qualified. With Tiger injured it is a PURE sea of WHITE faces at this Ryder Cup.

What we keep writing about in the Box and we will NEVER stop is that no matter how many notable examples in Sports of the lack of African Americans you never ever see note made of it let alone anything done about it. We could and should be hearing all over the media this week at the very least comment it is sad and disappointing there is such a lack of Black involvement in Professional Golf but instead you will LAUGH at the very idea the media would mention it.

Let’s get back to Lee Elder

He deserves it.

Here is how the Guardian from England described Lee Elder and his being at this week’s Ryder Cup. This is what Elder was said by the Guardian and what Elder had to say.” The esteem with which Elder, who at 74 plays on the Grand Champions tour and regularly shoots lower than his age, is held by golf fans was apparent. After the ceremony autograph-hunters huddled not just around The Greatest, but around Elder too. However Elder said without groundbreakers such as Ali and baseball’s Jackie Robinson, it would have been difficult for him to achieve such notoriety. “He helped me,” Elder said. “I tried to follow what he did and carry myself in the same way. It was important for me to have him as an idol, along with Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays and people like that who I had a chance to speak to quite often and greatly admired. It was good to have those people as mentors.”

And there was more …

” In his only Ryder Cup appearance Elder was made to feel welcome by the victorious US team, in particular the captain, Billy Casper. “We had a lot of fun because we won,” he said. “We had such a great team – we had Lee Trevino, Lanny Wadkins, Hale Irwin and myself. I include myself because at the time I was the oldest player to have ever played on the US Ryder Cup team until Raymond Floyd came along. It was a great joy to be on the team. I had just come off a couple of wins so my captain said: ‘Lee, I think you’re playing the best of all the players on the team right now, so I would like you to play in as many matches as possible.’ So I said: ‘Hey, just hold me up and let me go.”

So three CHEERS for Lee Elder

and our hope here in the Box

he stays healthy and is back

at 100 in 2034 to watch

young African Americans

yet unborn who will then

anchor the U.S. Ryder

Cup team if we are

determined to make

it be Reality