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Rory McIlroy has called for more tolerance when it comes to dealing with matters of social and racial injustice.

The world No.1 was responding to the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota last month, which prompted widespread condemnation and protests around the world.

McIlroy shared his thoughts on the subject ahead of this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge, the first PGA Tour event since coronavirus restrictions came into place in March.

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“My hero growing up was Tiger Woods,” said the 31-year-old. “Tiger doesn’t look the same as me, has had a very different upbringing to the one that I have had, but he was my hero growing up. It didn’t matter what colour his skin was, what his beliefs were. Tiger was my hero, and he’s been a lot of kids’ heroes over the years that have grown up playing golf. 

“We’ve been very lucky to have him in our game. I think that there should be more people like him in golf.”

McIlroy described the PGA Tour’s decision to leave its 8.46am tee time open as a mark of respect to George Floyd and a show of solidarity with the black community as “a wonderful gesture”.

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“The conversation that Jay [Monahan, PGA Tour commissioner] and [PGA Tour player] Harold Varner had about these issues I think really hit home with me,” he added.

“Harold said it maybe just isn’t about the players, it’s about everyone in the game of golf. There’s so many people that are involved with the game and as long as we continue to give people from different backgrounds opportunities to be in golf, that can only be a good thing.”


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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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