Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2002 – The National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO) released a letter today to CBS Sports and its parent company Viacom, asking that CBS Sports discontinue broadcast of the Masters Golf Tournament until Augusta National Golf Club opens its membership to women.
The letter read in part: “The tournament is an event that is produced by and held at a facility owned by a for-profit corporation that is flaunting its practice of sex discrimination. In the year 2002, when women occupy prominent positions in every walk of life, it is astonishing that CBS would even consider such a broadcast.”
“Press reports indicate that CBS loses money on this broadcast, even with advertisers. Since they plan to broadcast it without commercials next year, that means the network is not just a passive participant, but an underwriter of the discrimination ongoing at Augusta,” said Martha Burk, Chair of the group. “The broadcast would be a two-day commercial for the good old boy way of life”
NCWO members reaffirmed their support of the campaign to open Augusta in a meeting of the groups this week. “NCWO groups recognize that this kind of discrimination is emblematic of the way women are excluded from major business decisions,” said Jane Smith, CEO of Business and Professional Women USA. “Companies who value women as consumers, stockholders, and employees should not want to be associated with this event until the discrimination stops.” [Full Text of Letter]
The National Council of Women’s Organizations is the nation’s oldest and largest coalition of women’s groups, with 160 organizational members collectively representing over seven million women.###