Monday, April 12, 2021

Tiger Woods hails ‘fantastic’ Black Lives Matter movement before golfing return | Sport


Tiger Woods believes the development of the Black Lives Matter movement has been “fantastic” as he reiterated his call for the innocent to be unharmed during the pursuit of equality.

At the Memorial Tournament this week Woods will make his first competitive appearance since the killing of George Floyd and subsequent mass protests. The world’s most famous player is typically reluctant to wade into political or societal topics. Until now, he had made only a social media post regarding Floyd’s death.

When asked specifically about what progress Black Lives Matter might develop, Woods was marginally more forthcoming. “I think change is fantastic,” he said. “As long as we make changes without hurting the innocent – and unfortunately that has happened, hopefully it doesn’t happen in the future – but a movement and change is fantastic.

“That’s how society develops. That’s how we grow. That’s how we move forward. That’s how we have fairness. Unfortunately we’ve lost innocent lives along the way, and hopefully we don’t lose any more in the future as we move to a much better place socially.”

In Dublin, Ohio, on Thursday, Woods will play his first competitive round for five months, with fitness trouble and the PGA Tour’s coronavirus-caused suspension responsible for much of that delay. The 15-time major winner did, though, resist any temptation to feature in the first six stops of the Tour’s resumption.

“I did consider playing,” Woods said. “I was trying to figure out if I should play or not. But I just felt it was better to stay at home and be safe. I’m used to playing with lots of people around me or having lots of people have a direct line to me and that puts not only myself in danger but my friends and family. I’ve just been at home practising and social distancing and being away from a lot of people.

“I’m used to having so many people around me or even touch me, going from green to tee. That’s something that I looked at and said: ‘Well, I’m really not quite comfortable with that, that whole idea.’ Let’s see how it plays out first, how they’ve started, and I feel that I’m comfortable enough to come back out here and play again. I’m excited to do it.”

Yet the 44-year-old admitted playing with Covid-19 as a backdrop is something he cannot ignore. “That’s the risk that I’m taking. That’s the risk that all of us are now taking.”

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