“Given the historic role that the [Ladies Professional Golf Association] has played in advancing the rights of women, and the severity of Mr. Trump’s words and actions over many years, we would encourage you to move the 2017 tournament to a course that isn’t associated with Mr. Trump,” Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) wrote in the letter. “We would also strongly recommend that the USGA seriously consider suspending further events at Trump properties.”
The USGA has faced renewed calls to move the event in recent weeks, after The Washington Post released a 2005 video in which Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, openly talked about forcing himself on women without their consent.
“The decision that the USGA makes is more consequential than simply the geographic location of a golf tournament,” the senators wrote. “In declining future association with a brand that degrades women, the USGA and LPGA have an opportunity to make clear to the world, and most especially young Americans, that our nation will not tolerate nor do business with anyone or any company that condones or excuses action that constitutes sexual assault.”
The USGA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter, which was addressed to Mike Davis, its CEO. The USGA manages the Women’s U.S. Open, though many of the players are LPGA Tour members.
Mike Whan, the head of the LPGA, faced questions about the event during a tournament in South Korea earlier this month.
“In a strange way, I’m lucky that the LPGA has no direct dealings with Donald Trump or Donald Trump properties,” Whan said, according to Reuters.
Golfweek interviewed a dozen LPGA players during the South Korea event and found that most had no objection to keeping the event at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
English golfer Jodi Ewart Shadoff, however, said the event should be relocated.
“On principle, I feel it’s just not right,” she told Golfweek.
The USGA, LPGA, PGA Tour and PGA of America all distanced themselves from Trump in July 2015, after he launched his campaign by asserting that Mexican immigrants were criminals and rapists and said that his partners in the golf world “know I’m right.”
The PGA Tour moved an annual event from Trump’s Doral course in Miami to a new location in Mexico City, but said at the time that the decision was motivated by a sponsorship issue, not his campaign for president.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.