When Cameron Champ wore one black shoe and one white shoe while playing the BMW Championship just outside Chicago last week, he gracefully and forcefully reminded everyone that golf can’t sit out what’s happening in our country. The subject of racial and social injustice doesn’t go away where golf tournaments are being played. This isn’t someone else’s fight. It’s everyone’s responsibility. Champ has worn one black and one white shoe before but not when he was playing in a FedEx Cup playoff event approximately 100 miles from Kenosha, Wisconsin, where the shooting by police of Jacob Blake had further stoked the social discontent that has burned through this uneasy summer. Champ – one of a very few Black players in professional golf’s highest levels – went one step further, writing Black Lives Matter on his shoes along with the names of his grandfather Mack “Pops” Champ and Breonna Taylor. It could not have been easy because golf, like so many other parts of our society, isn’t comfortable with conflict. It’s not part of the game, not like it is in boxing or football or political campaigns. Golf is played in hushed tones but the world is bellowing now and it’s not going to stop any time soon. “It’s a conversation that’s uncomfortable, sensitive for our country, but if we’re not willing to have those, I don’t think we can move forward as a country,” Tony Finau said. This is not about politics. It’s about human rights and human lives and just because an overdue national discussion began in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death doesn’t mean things have changed. The PGA Tour has done great things in raising and distributing more than $3 billion in charity dollars, but players have been reluctant to directly engage in social activism. When Kirk […]
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