PGA Tour voices support for sports leagues’ protests, expresses ‘outrage’ at injustice

PGA Tour headquarters

In the wake of protests country-wide and strikes against games in various sports leagues, the Tour made a statement Thursday morning.

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The PGA Tour on Thursday released a statement in the wake of other major sports leagues’ player-led protests and reiterated its own pledge it made over the summer to be a part of the solution when it comes to social injustice.

On Wednesday, with the Milwaukee Bucks scheduled to play the Orlando Magic in a playoff game, the Bucks staged a walkout in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake, which took place in Kenosha, Wis., about forty miles south of Milwaukee. Within an hour all of the day’s playoff games were postponed and later Wednesday night players met to discuss the future of the season. It was reported that the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers voted to discontinue the season. Other leagues soon followed suit and refused to play games Wednesday night.

The Tour, which is playing the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Ill., this week, about 90 miles south of Kenosha, released its statement on Thursday morning, several hours before the first groups were scheduled to tee off. It reads:

The MLB, MLS, NBA, WNBA and WTA protests are player-led, peaceful, powerful ways to use 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.

The PGA Tour made a pledge over the summer to be part of the solution, and we have been actively working to make deeper and more specific commitments to racial equity and inclusion in the communities where we play, as well as supporting national organizations within this movement that we had not previously engaged with. However, we understand that now is not the appropriate time to highlight our programs and policies, but rather to express our outrage at the injustice that remains prevalent in our country.

Sports have always had the power to inspire and unify, and we remain hopeful that together, we will achieve change.

This comes after the Tour released a video on Wednesday evening with World No. 72 Cameron Champ, who is trying to spread awareness of racial injustice and this week will continue to wear a pair of white and black Nike shoes, but with the message: “Jacob Blake BLM.”

“I’ve seen a lot of other athletes speak out about it,” Champ said in the video. “It’s a situation where a lot of people don’t want to talk about it, which I get, but at the same time it’s reality. It’s what we live in. People ignore it for so long and it gets to a point where it just blows up. This is just the tipping of the iceberg.”

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Golf.com Editor

Josh Berhow is the managing editor at GOLF.com. The Minnesota native attended Minnesota State in Mankato. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.