PGA Tour supports protests with minute's silence


Los Angeles (AFP)

The PGA Tour will hold a minute's silence during each round to signify support for protests against racial and social injustice when the tour tees off again on Thursday after a three-month COVID-19 hiatus.

Golf makes its return with the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas on Thursday while the developmental Korn Ferry Tour returns with an event at TPC Sawgrass.

Both events will see minute-long moments of silence to mark the protests which have swept across the United States and around the world following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

In addition, the PGA Tour has set aside a blank 8:46 am tee time at both events, reflecting the 8min 46seconds where Floyd was pinned to the floor with a police officer's knee on his neck before his death.

A report on the PGA Tour's website said the tee time was "part of ongoing efforts to amplify the voices and efforts underway to end racial and social injustice."

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan last week told staff and players that the tour was determined to do whatever it could to support diversity and inclusion in the sport.

"What has happened here is not right and we're going to be part of the solution. Let's open up our discussion," Monahan said. "Let's make certain that we are listening to our players, listening to our colleagues and let's do this the right way."

Monahan said he has canvassed opinion from black colleagues and friends to better understand the issues.

"I didn't understand in a world where people say, 'If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem,'" Monahan said.

"I didn't understand what the solution was in the short term, but I was committed to make certain I was part of identifying it as supporting it. So for me stepping back and trying to listen to those people that have been affected was the best place to start."

The golf season has been on hold since the coronavirus pandemic swept across the United States in March, forcing the abandonment of the tournament following the first round.