Michael Grade: ‘Muirfield golf club banned me for being Jewish’

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Michael Grade: ‘Muirfield golf club banned me for being Jewish’

Former BBC boss claims an invitation to play at East Lothian club was rescinded due to his religion.

Michael Grade.
Michael Grade.

A former chairman of the BBC claims he was banned from Muirfield Golf Club for being Jewish.

Lord Grade told The Telegraph that golf is “full of anti-Semitism” and that he steers “clear of any clubs that have a reputation for being anti-Jewish.”

Grade said he was invited to the East Lothian club by the former head of Scottish Television, Sir William Brown, in the 1980s. However, when the ex-BBC boss informed Muirfield of his home club, Coombe Hill in Kingston upon Thames, which is known for having a predominantly Jewish membership, the invite was allegedly withdrawn.

When he asked Sir William Brown if there was any reason for the withdrawn, according to Grade the reply was: “You know why, Michael’.”

Grade’s claims come after the world-famous golf club came under fire for retaining its ban on women members.

The club voted against accepting female members, losing the right to host golf’s Open Championship in the process.

The ballot was held at the end of a two-year consultation on membership but failed to get the two-thirds majority of its 648 eligible voters required to change policy.

The decision was met with outcry from key figures from the sport and beyond, with many calling on the club to look again at its membership rules.

Golf commentator Peter Alliss has suggested women who want to join Muirfield should “get married to someone who’s a member”.

Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy led calls from top golfers for the club to “see sense”.

He said: ”They can do what they want but in this day and age it’s not right to host the world’s biggest tournament at a place that does not allow women to become members.

“Hopefully they can see some sense and we can get it back there one day.”

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