#PGA Tour to remember George Floyd with moment of silence

#PGA Tour to remember George Floyd with moment of silence

June 9, 2020 | 4:01pm

FORT WORTH, Texas — In a powerful and symbolic move to remember George Floyd, the black man who died on Memorial Day while being restrained for eight minutes and 46 seconds by Minneapolis police, the PGA Tour is leaving the 8:46 a.m. tee time vacant at this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge.

At that moment, there will be a one-minute moment of silence around the golf course with three horn blasts coordinated and players on site asked to pause for reflection as a demonstration of support for the Tour’s commitment to addressing racial and social injustices.

That time will also be set aside at the Korn Ferry Tour Challenge this week at TPC Sawgrass.

On June 1, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan addressed the issue through a letter to employees, players and tournaments, and later sat for a conversation with Harold Varner III to discuss the Tour’s potential role as a part of the solution.

Varner, one of only a few black players on the pro tours, said he hopes moments like this will continue the discussion.

“I think some will forget about it,’’ Varner said Tuesday from the Charles Schwab Challenge. “I think so many people will move on, but the conversation I had with Jay when we weren’t being recorded, I think this week won’t be the last week, because it’s getting to the point where everyone has a voice that if the PGA Tour was to forget it, they would get hounded every day.

“So it’s just kind of like yes, they’re pressured, but I also think that it’s the right thing to do, and I think Jay knows that, so I’m super behind him on that, and we got to talking about some things where I come from, what I think about it. I’m just super fortunate to be able to say something and it matter but also be a part of the change. Everyone in this society right now is going to be a part of that.’’

Varner, asked if he’s had any white players approach him in recent weeks to ask what they can do to help raise awareness, said: “Yes, more than I can count on my hands. A good number.’’

“Obviously they were like hey, ‘I’m going to pay attention, I’m going to do this,’ but the one thing I tried to tell them is that like some of the guys that are, ‘Dude, you’re not racist, I think you’re doing things to grow the game. Like your representation on the PGA Tour.’

“I just have a hard time believing there’s like tons of racists on the PGA Tour because I’m pretty good friends with a lot of people out here,’’ he said. “White people, they need to listen right now, black people need to listen right now, too, and we need to come together and figure out what it is.’’


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