Kevin Kisner apologized on Saturday afternoon for a “reckless comment” he made on Twitter toward the coronavirus pandemic.
Former NBA player Rex Chapman tweeted at just after 1 a.m. ET that he was upset over President Donald Trump’s response to the virus, as a friend’s parents had died because of Covid-19, his own parents have been in the hospital, and one of his children had tested positive on Friday. Kisner tweeted a few hours later, “Guess they can’t follow the guidelines.”
Kisner deleted the tweet and then apologized.
“Earlier this morning, I made a reckless comment,” Kisner’s tweet read. “I diminished the real experience of pain and loss suffered by many during the pandemic. I am not without empathy, but I certainly exercised poor judgement. I apologize to @RexChapman and anyone else that was hurt by my comment.”
The PGA Tour told various outlets that Kisner’s original tweet was “both disappointing and out of character.”
“His remarks do not reflect the nature of our sport or organization, both of which strive to offer compassion and unity,” the statement said. “We were pleased to see Kevin take ownership of the situation and have since spoken to him directly. We will have no further public comment on the matter.”
Chapman responded to Kisner’s original tweet by tweeting, “I gotta block ya now.” He then tweeted that he would not accept Kisner’s apology. “Done with people like you. We all are,” he wrote. Late Saturday night, Chapman tweeted that Kisner reached out and that they talked.
“I love golf and am such a fan of the game,” Chapman wrote. “I know Phil and Tiger and those guys from way back. Peter Jacobsen, Payne Stewart, and Steve Flesch (UK) before them. We’re going to find common ground. I’m hopeful.”
Kisner is a member of the policy board that helped develop the Tour’s return to play in mid-June after its shutdown in mid-March due to the pandemic. This week’s Safeway Open is the Tour’s 14th consecutive tournament.
Each has been played without fans, and Kisner said before last week’s Tour Championship that he hopes they can return at the start of the new year.
“I think we will transition to spectators as soon as we feel like we have a good plan that the players are comfortable with,” Kisner said. “We need the fans back. Without the fans, the tournaments aren’t the same. The revenues aren’t the same. We need them back. All of us want to play in front of fans. We appreciate the buzz that the fans create. We appreciate having people applauding for our golf shots other than the one or two volunteers on a hole.”