Bills safety Jordan Poyer has canceled his Celebrity Open golf event scheduled for the Blue Monster at Trump National Doral Miami, Poyer’s representatives at Avalon Group said in a statement Saturday.
Poyer said in an Instagram post that the event benefiting the ECMC Foundation was canceled after a number of teams “up north” that were scheduled to compete pulled out and wrote emails to ECMC.
Poyer described ECMC as a “huge sponsor” of the event. An ECMC spokesman said the foundation was the beneficiary of the event and not a sponsor.
“ECMC decided they can no longer take the pressure from the top, from the people above them, and that probably has nothing to do with ECMC at all,” Poyer said. “I am truly grateful and blessed to have worked with the people that I have worked with at ECMC for the past two years. …
“I’m not naive. I understand where they are on the political spectrum, where New York is on the political spectrum. Do I agree with a lot of it? No, I don’t. I’m sorry, but I know not ‘t. … I say the quiet part out loud and some of you don’t like it. My bad. I still went and put my ego aside and went to help those who needed help or needed a laugh.”
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In a statement released later Saturday to the News, Susan Gonzalez, ECMC Foundation’s executive director, said, “The ECMC Foundation was fortunate to be a recipient of Jordan Poyer’s golf tournament in Florida. Although the foundation was not a sponsor, we have had an excellent partnership with Jordan, and we respect his decision to cancel his tournament; we hope he will consider supporting us in his future events.”
Criticism of the Trump National venue came almost immediately when the event was announced in early June.
The event was scheduled for July 10 at what the statement said is “one of Jordan’s favorite courses in South Florida.” Poyer lives in the Miami area during the off-season.
“Unfortunately, we were surprised by negative comments from some individuals who sought to turn this into a political battle and divide our community,” the Avalon statement said. “We condemn any form of violence and stand by Jordan as he continues to work to make a positive impact and be a role model for our community.”
Official statement regarding the Jordan Poyer Celebrity Open. pic.twitter.com/PArCYapYHT
— Avalon Sports (@GroupAvalon) 24 June 2023
The statement said the event will return next year, and Poyer said next year’s edition will be “off the chain.” He apologized to those who had signed up and the athletes and celebrities who had committed to participate.
“The tournament is a charitable initiative that Jordan has been working on for six months. Our main goal was to raise money for the Buffalo community,” the statement said.
Poyer, sitting poolside shirtless and wearing a bucket hat, said in the video that he wanted supporters to hear from him directly about why the event was canceled.
“Am I stressed about it? Not even the slightest bit,” he said. “Am I upset? A little, but I’m not even upset that the tournament was canceled. I’m upset that this is where we are in America.”
Poyer re-signed with the Bills early in free agency to a two-year contract. He gained national attention in March for his complaints about the size of New York taxes.
In his lengthy video, Poyer said he was able to put aside differences with those he disagreed with to use his platform for good and wanted others to do the same.
“I hope we could get past it and it looked like we did, but we haven’t,” he said. “It seems like our egos get in the way of being a good person. (Not) sharing love, sharing conversations, sharing laughter with people who may not believe the same things you do, that’s a huge problem in America right now Our egos are taking over the majority of our lives Many of us don’t even know who we are anymore We are ruled by the ego-self, ruled by the materialistic side, ruled by the things that really doesn’t mean anything..
“I say it all the time to the people around me, I literally chase a ball for a living. Don’t get me wrong. I love doing it. But this life I’ve got, this life we’ve all got is more than just chasing a ball around. It’s trying to impact people’s lives in ways that I could never fathom that I could. I love doing it. I love seeing Gabby in the hospital, paralyzed by a drunk driver. … the smile she has when I walk in there.
“To think that 20 years ago I could make someone smile just by walking into a room. I can put my ego away any day of the week to help someone who may be white, black, Asian, Puerto Rican, Dominicans. in this, believe in it… I could honestly because it’s about more than me. It’s about helping others. It’s about sharing these experiences and being open that we’re not perfect No one is perfect… The point is we need each other Do we argue about (things) that don’t matter?
“I believe in the universal law that the energy you put out is the energy you get back, and we’re not doing that right now. All we’re doing is fighting each other all day. Fighting each other about politics, about religion, about race. The problems that come up are the problems that we create… It blows my mind that we’re sitting here in America today with these problems.”