Don’t try to personalize your Titleist golf ball with the popular phrase “Let’s Go Brandon.” The golf equipment company bans customers from doing so on its website, alleging that the saying is “inconsistent” with its “values or brand identity.” When one tries to customize a golf ball with that message, one receives a notification stating: “Sorry, one or more of the words you have chosen cannot be used. Please see our Terms and Conditions to learn more about what we will imprint.”
Titleist’s Terms and Conditions reads: "Acushnet Company [the parent company of Titleist] reserves the right to reject orders for imprints on our products that may, in our sole discretion, be inconsistent with our company values or brand identity, including, but not limited to logos, designs and/or personalizations that are negative in nature, advocate violence or illegal activity, or are slurs, hateful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, vulgar, obscene or pornographic."
As Fox News noted, "It is unclear which of those categories the phrase 'Let’s Go Brandon' violated." The outlet added, "Certain political and vulgar messages that Fox News Digital tested on the website did not receive the same error message, including 'F Trump,' 'ACAB,' 'Antifa,' 'Kill Cops,' 'Impeach Trump,' and 'Kill Trump.'"
“Let’s Go” is an upbeat exhortation. “Brandon” is a common name. Whether apart or together, they/it are certainly not “threatening,” “libelous,” “vulgar,” “obscene,” or “pornographic.”
“Let’s Go Brandon” is not a slur, which means an insinuation or allegation. Nor is it defamatory, the definition of which is “damaging the good reputation of someone.” Neither does it advocate violence or illegal activity.
Is it hateful? Not on its face. Its symbolic or figurative meaning could conceivably be construed as such, but even that is relatively mild compared to so much else in our coarse modern society. And it is as nothing compared to what was directed at Trump (by individuals, groups and corporations) every day of his presidency, no obfuscation, restraint, or decorousness needed.
So “F Trump” and “Kill Trump” are not “inconsistent” with Acushnet’s “company values or brand identity” but “Let’s Go Brandon” is? “F Trump” and “Kill Trump” are not “negative in nature” but “Let’s Go Brandon” is? That is the result when a company’s only value and brand identity is appeasing the woke mob to maximize profit, every other consideration be damned.
I wonder if one could personalize a Titleist product on its website with “Titleist Sucks!?”
Sadly, like many other corporations these days, the Acushnet Company appears to have no rationality, no integrity, no soul, and, ironically, no balls.