UK golf ‘full’ of anti-Semitism, Jewish ex-BBC chair claims

(JTA) – A British media mogul who headed the BBC has accused the United Kingdom’s golf scene of being “full” of anti-Semitism, saying a prominent club banned him in the 1980s because he is Jewish.

Michael Grade, 73, who served as BBC chairman from 2004 to 2006, told the UK’s Telegraph that he learned to “steer clear of any clubs that have a reputation for being anti-Jewish.”

Muirfeld, the Scottish club that allegedly excluded Grade, has come under fire recently for voting to continue its ban on female members.

Grade said he was invited to play at Muirfeld, but then had the invitation rescinded after the club learned that his “home club” was Coombe Hill, a Surrey club known for having a mostly Jewish membership, according to the Telegraph.

“Golf is full of that,” Grade said. “A friend of mine once asked me if I wanted to join another club which was said to have a ‘No Jews’ policy. He said he wanted to test them out, so he put my name forward and I was turned down.”

A spokesman for Muirfield told the Telegraph it does not discriminate on the basis of religious background, which is illegal.

Along with chairing the BBC, Grade has headed numerous other British media organizations and companies.

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