The Loop

Poulter's past proves derogatory comments more tolerable when not coming from a PGA president

October 29, 2014

The dust has settled on the Ted Bishop Twitter mishap and it turned out to be the ultimate insider saga after no national organizations or major figures in the women's game were willing to weigh in on Bishop's "lil girl" Tweet to Ian Poulter.

As time passes, the forced removal of Bishop -- with 29 days to go in his presidency -- seems like it was driven by personal feelings about the outstpoken Bishop and not, as PGA CEO Pete Bevacqua has claimed, a matter of remaining consistent with the organization's grow the game focus.

After all, PGA Tour pros are PGA of America members by default and they've said a lot worse things on Twitter. Poulter famously had to delete and apologize just as Bishop did, only his first offense was in 2010 when he referred to "the yids" when speaking of the Tottenham football club.

As recent as March, Poulter invoked an equally demeaning description of women in an Instagram posting. "Funny picture form the range the other day. Looks like I could fish with that girlie shaft."

"Is being called a "lil girl" meant to be derogatory or a put down? That's pretty shocking and disappointing, especially coming from the leader of the PGA of America. No further comment."

At least his Ryder Cup counterpart Lee Westwood apologized for using the term "girly boy trolls" this year during yet another peculiar Twitter rampage that has become a staple of Westwood's love-hate relationship with social media.

Still, Poulter's online behavior juxtaposed with Bishop's mistake makes it clear that if you're young, popular and not irritating a largely anonymous board of directors, you can get away with a lot on social media and still keep your reputation.