john daly

Stop laughing about John Daly drinking

For the last 30 years John Daly has remained a popular figurehead in professional golf. A career highlighted by two major championships amid a history of disease, injuries, and psychological challenges, Long John is truly one-of-a-kind. However, perhaps the most disturbing trend of his career is happening in plain sight in front of thousands of eyes:

John Daly is an alcoholic, is still drinking, and too many people are having a big ol’ laugh about it.

Daly has been quoted as saying he hasn’t had a drink since July 2010, when he claimed as much at the Open Championship that year. Others have supported this claim on social and beyond, including mention on the golfer’s recent 30 for 30 ESPN documentary “Hit it Hard.”

So why then, in a live Periscope session with new friend Andrew “Beef” Johnston, Daly appears while drinking a mix of chocolate milk and whiskey.

From Golf Digest:

John Daly and Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston cemented their friendship with a 30-minute Q&A on Periscope, in which they tackled fan questions on their golf games, their breakfast preferences and their taste in movies.

Daly took questions with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of chocolate milk and whisky in the other.

This is apparently nothing new. Last year, USA Today’s Josh Peter highlighted the same return to alcohol in a piece on the eve of Daly’s 50th birthday:

In many ways, not much has changed since Daly came from nowhere to win the 1991 PGA Championship. But as he turns 50 on Thursday and starts a new chapter in his life and career, Daly says he has found something new: peace.

That’s right, the man who still smokes Marlboros, drinks alcohol, gambles and lovingly pats his big belly as if to taunt the Grim Reaper is happy as he approaches the turn on life’s half-century mark.

Later in that same piece Daly comments on his alcohol use:

“I don’t want people judging me just because I’m drinking again.

“The dumbest thing I ever said is that I’d never drink again,” Daly said. “But that’s what I was feeling at that moment. I know I would never say that again.

“The older I’ve gotten — and I know a lot of alcoholics that say, ‘You’re just so stupid,’ but I don’t feel this way — I’ve felt like if I go out and have a few beers. I just want to be able to go have a few beers with my friends and be social.”

Why is nobody concerned about this? And if there is concern, why are we glorifying a man who is obviously relapsing on a disease that will quite literally kill him if nothing is done? Because he’s likable? Because we really want headline clicks that much?

Are we just supposed to shrug and look the other way because John Daly seems comfortable?

This is a problem.

Some of you reading this will say, “he’s an adult and can choose to live how he wants.” Others will tell me to mind my own business and to get off his case. After all, John Daly is lovable, doesn’t give a fuck, and that’s so “in” right now.

That doesn’t change the fact this is a problem.

It becomes an even bigger problem when popular sports websites share content featuring Daly in a humorous context while a recovering alcoholic is drinking. The desire to increase traffic and get more clicks than your competitor with no regard to quality content is nothing new; but this is so blatantly irresponsible that it is almost unbelievable.

Perhaps Daly is beyond help at this point. He certainly seems to be content with his life, appears to be happy, and enjoys making cute internet videos with young professional golfers. Hell, who am I to rain on that parade?

Daly has made his choice. We can make ours’, too.

As a fan of John Daly, I encourage you to choose to not encourage this behavior any longer.

Adam Fonseca

Adam Fonseca is the owner and Editor of GolfUnfiltered.com. He is also he host of the Golf Unfiltered Podcast. Adam spends most of his time making a fool out of himself on Twitter. (@GolfUnfiltered)