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MARTIN TRIAL A HOT TOPIC AS PROCEEDINGS BEGIN TODAY IN OR
Published February 2, 1998
Casey Martin's challenge to the PGA Tour's walking rule goes to court in Eugene, OR, today as Martin tries to prove that a cart is "a reasonable modification to the tour's rules, not a fundamental change" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 2/2). USA TODAY's Harry Blauvelt reports that a 12- minute videotape showing Martin's right leg "without support stockings, which reduce swelling," will "highlight today's court proceeding." Blauvelt adds that Court TV petitioned for permission to show the trial "but was turned down" (USA TODAY, 2/2). Martin will be led by attorney William Wiswall and ADA "expert" Martha Walters, while the PGA Tour's defense team will be led by AZ-attorney William Maledon (Thomas Heath, WASHINGTON POST, 2/2). Reaction toward the Martin case continues to be strong. A sampling follows: REAX: Tom Kite offers an op-ed in the N.Y. TIMES and writes, "We cannot change an integral aspect of our sport for any one person" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/2). Martin's case was featured on "The Sports Reporters." Bob Ryan: "You can't walk, you can't play." Mike Lupica: "They are missing a great kid here, a great story" (ESPN, 2/1). In Chicago, Sam Smith: "It has been such a disappointment to see the golf community ... fail to stand up and defend Martin on this basic issue of human decency" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/1). In Dallas, Kevin Blackistone wrote that golf "still doesn't see itself as a game for everyone, hence the argument it will make ... that it is a private, not a public, concern and, therefore not subject to the law" (MORNING NEWS, 2/1). NIKE'S ROLE: In N.Y., Marcia Chambers writes that with its sponsorship of both Martin and the Nike Tour, Nike has its money "on both sides of this dispute." Tom Fox, Nike's U.S. Dir of Sports Marketing: "It does not affect our relationship with the tour. We don't agree with them in this particular case" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/2). Martin wore a Nike hat, shirt and sneakers, for weekend meetings with his lawyers. Martin: "As for other endorsements, there's a lot riding on the trial in that respect" (USA TODAY, 2/2).