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Jon Rahm was going to win the Memorial this past weekend. He was 6 strokes ahead after finishing his 3rd round and according to people much smarter than me, could've had a career worst round and STILL won the tournament.
But Rahm had been exposed to somebody with COVID-19 and upon finishing his round, was told ON LIVE TELEVISION that he had tested positive and would be forced to withdraw.
Let me start off by saying this very clearly: I do not follow golf. I do not know who Jon Rahm is. I do not care whether or not he is vaccinated or have any thoughts about how or why he was exposed. My issues with this story go on a much deeper level. Basic human decency was violated here.
First, the things I know. Jon Rahm is ranked 3rd in the world so he's pretty good. According to people that I trust, he is a bit of a head case. By testing positive, he should've been forced to withdraw. It would have been an unfair advantage to let Rahm play the final round solo and in the other instances since the PGA tour has come back and a player has tested positive during the tour, they were also forced to withdraw. All that is well and good. The basic fact here is that nobody deserves to have their medical situation aired on live television.
In fact, what the PGA Tour did by announcing live on CBS that Rahm had tested positive for Covid was totally and completely violate his HIPAA rights. There were so many other ways they could've handled this situation. The simplest could've been, when Rahm went to the club house to turn in his scorecard, had the conversation with him then. Instead, CBS and the PGA decided to have a shock factor moment where an official from the tour walked over to Rahm and broke the news to him. Rahm didn't get the chance to tell his family because it was aired on live TV.
The PGA response to why they chose this moment: "it was hard to find the right time." That is absolute garbage. In a world of technology and communication, somebody couldn't radio to a course official to pull him into a room somewhere? Give me a break.
This was pathetically handled and has been bugging me since Saturday. If I am Jon Rahm, I am suing the PGA for $1.67 million dollars (the payout he was going to receive) and an additional amount in damages. At some point, basic human decency needs to have value.