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Saturday, June 22
The Indiana Daily Student


Supreme Court Decision on Martin issue correct

A ruling came down Wednesday from the Supreme Court that rocked the professional golfing world and got everyone talking again -- and it had nothing to do with Tiger Woods for once. \nThe Court ruled 7-2 that the PGA had to allow for Casey Martin to use a golf cart in tournaments because of his disability, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.\nMartin has a degenerative leg ailment that is worsened by walking, such as walking 18 holes of a golf course. While Martin is not a great golfer -- he is struggling on the tour, a 'minor league' of the PGA -- and has only participated in a couple PGA tournaments this year, he has the ability to participate on the PGA tour some day, judging that his disability doesn't end his career too prematurely. While all accounts are that Martin won't be able to golf into his 60s because his disability will cause him to lose his leg before that, he would lose his leg much earlier if forced to walk the course. \nThe Court believes this change will not fundamentally change the face of the golf world. According to Justice John Stevens, who wrote the majority opinion, "What it can be said to do, on the other hand, is to allow Martin the chance to qualify for and compete in the athletic events (the PGA Tour) (offered) to those members of the public who have the skill and desire to enter." \nThe Court's decision met with some resistance though. In fact, members of the PGA have been resisting the opportunity for Martin to use a cart since the first day he tried to join the PGA. For months golfers have been going on about how allowing Martin to use a cart gives him an unfair advantage and would change the face of the game. The issue was never with Martin, the golfers said, but about the cart. \n"In Casey's particular case, there's no doubt about his disability," Hal Sutton -- a tour member who is also on the PGA policy board -- told "This is not about Casey Martin. It's about the possibilities it opens up. The next person's disabilities -- it might not be as clear."\nThis is where the points start to get a little sticky for me. One, most people with disabilities are not able to play professional sports, it's just a fact of life. Martin is a unique individual in that despite his leg disability, he can still golf and golf well. So, the thought is, this disability question should not be brought up too often. \nSome golfers think that with bad backs and old age, many golfers would be able to acquire a cart. This is simple and not a problem. Old age and bad backs aren't disabilities. Do people get handicap parking stickers for these things? No. They are just a fact of life, so the golfers should deal with it, just like everyone else does. \nThe fact the golfers were so willing to prevent a golfer like Martin from participating, because he would have to use a cart, and just because of what it could do to their precious game is disgusting to me. All the Casey Martin issue has done is remind me how much some golfers disgust me. I say hurrah for the Supreme Court and their decision for Casey Martin, and hurrah for Martin too. Go out there and beat those golfer snobs and tell them what they can do with their opposition to you being able to ride a cart.

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