PGA Tour players react to latest racial injustice
Before the first tee shot was struck, the Tour, in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, issued a statement, which pledged support for athletes of other pro sports leagues using “their respective platforms to bring about the urgent need for change in our country. There have been a number of efforts in the past to send a message that the current climate is unacceptable, and these teams, leagues and players now taking this step will help draw further attention to the issues that really matter. The PGA Tour supports them – and any of our own members – standing up for issues they believe in.”
Several players spoke after their rounds.
“I have Papa Champ on my sneakers, Black Lives Matter and Breonna Taylor. Obviously there are some very important reasons why that’s on my shoes. For my grandfather, if anyone knows my story, he grew up in the South, Jim Crow, all those eras through the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s and obviously Breonna Taylor, which is another ongoing issue. For me again that’s kind of where I stand with this. I just want to show my love and support and obviously with my hat, as well.
“Black Lives Matter means all lives matter. When people say all lives matter, yes, all lives matter, but so do Black lives. It’s a situation where, again, as a country, as a whole we’ve kind of dug ourselves a hole. Now with media and people videotaping and seeing things, it’s starting to come alive. People are starting to talk about it, which is the good thing. Without dialogue, without talking about it, nothing is going to happen. And so I think this is — it’s a decent start, but obviously there’s still a lot of stuff going on that quite frankly should not be happening at all. And even with Jacob Blake, it’s the same thing. I get criticized for doing something, but then when you look at the facts, he’s still a human being. Regardless if he has a criminal record, regardless of any of that, he’s still a human being, and for me just to watch that video — again, regardless of what he’s done in his past or people saying he had an arrest warrant or he had this, he had that, he’s a human being. It just has to end.”
“Anyone that’s willing to have the uncomfortable conversation about systemic racism and just that in general in our country I think is a healthy thing for all of us,” said Finau. “We continue to learn from each other in a positive way I think is the most important thing, and we all have different perspectives as we go through our life. Listening to each other I think is a big deal, so they took a stand for what they think is the right thing, and as a society I think it’s our responsibility to just listen and pay attention to what’s going on around us, and if we’re willing to have those uncomfortable conversations, I think our country can continue to move forward.”
“It’s a very difficult topic. I think there’s no question that there’s a problem, and I hear both sides of it. I do a good job of trying to listen to both sides and hear both sides. We need to come to a solution for sure. There’s no reason for that much force to be used in that kind of situation. I think we can all agree on that. Yeah, it’s just unfortunate that we’re dealing with this in this day and age. … I think things need to change. There needs to be discussion to continuing, and yeah, I’m willing to talk to anyone about it and keep it going.”
“I talked to the commissioner (Jay Monahan). Obviously he released his statement, and all the guys were on board. So no, obviously there was talk about it (not playing on Thursday) because of obviously what happened, but we’re all on board, on the same page.”
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