Bridgestone Golf has called Georgia home going on 31 years, and that won't be changing in light of the state's recent controversial changes to voting laws, said CEO Dan Murphy.
"We certainly hope [to stay in Georgia]. It's our home both personally and business-wise. We have had great success here. We don't have any plans to relocate or anything," Murphy told Yahoo Finance Live, ahead of the Masters officially kicking off in the state on Thursday.
Georgia enacted its new voting law last month. It imposes new voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, gives power to state officials over local election boards, and limits the use of ballot drop boxes. It also criminalizes the action of giving food and water to people on line waiting to vote.
The new law has been met with swift condemnation from voting rights experts and civil rights groups. Big business has also been entangled in the uproar.
MLB decided to move this year's all-star game to Denver, Colorado, from Atlanta. Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey — who leads the Georgia based drinks giant — has weighed in on the debate as well, though has chosen his words carefully as to be expected.
"Work needs to be done to make this a step forward, not a step backward, in terms of broader access to voting, and that’s what we’re going to continue to advocate for as we go into this next phase," Quincey told The New York Times.
As for bigwig executives in the golf scene, they have been mum at best on the issue as the Masters takes center stage.
The PGA Tour has said it won't move its season-ending Tour Championship from Atlanta this year. The board at the Masters — in typical form — has said largely squat. Masters Chairman Fred Ridley mostly dodged a question on the voting law in a press conference on Wednesday.
"I believe, and am confident every member in this club believes that voting is an essential fundamental right in our society. And anything disadvantages anyone to vote is wrong," Ridley said.
As for Bridgestone Golf — which counts phenom Bryson DeChambeau and legend Tiger Woods as sponsored athletes — it echoes the sentiment of those that have spoken out on the issue.
"We fully support voting rights. As we look at what is going on in the community, I guess I would have to say we are kind of disappointed with the division, the dissonance of you will, about the issue. I think we certainly support the right to vote as a fundamental American value, and we are going to work really hard in our community to be a voice of unity and understanding. And that is really where we stand," Murphy said.
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