PGA Tour Recognizes Racial Injustice with Moment of Silence
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Colonial already was quiet with no spectators around for the return of the PGA Tour on Thursday. And then at 8:46 a.m., it came to a standstill.
Commissioner Jay Monahan stood on the first tee for the 8:46 a.m. starting time that was listed on the tee sheet without any player names. The tour left that time open as a tribute to George Floyd, whose killing by a white police officer in Minneapolis sparked worldwide outrage and protest over social and racial injustice.
The time reflects how long authorities say the officer held his knee to the back of Floyd’s neck. The handcuffed black man died after pleading for air.
“As the PGA Tour commits to amplifying voices and efforts to end systemic issues of racial and social injustices, we have reserved the 8:46 tee time to pause for a moment of silence, prayer and reflection,” Monahan said.
That was followed by three short blasts of the horn as players stopped — on the golf course, on the putting green and on the driving range. Most players removed caps and bowed their heads. Carts also stopped — the traffic provided about the only noise at the Charles Schwab Challenge.
The civil unrest has shared the conversation with the COVID-19 pandemic that has kept golf shut down for the last 90 days. Harold Varner III, one of four PGA Tour players of black heritage, was the strongest voice. Tiger Woods joined in with a tweet, and other players have not shied away from the topic.