With social and racial injustice continuing to dominate conversations around the world following the killing of George Floyd, world No.2 Jon Rahm has spoken of his own experiences of being prejudiced against in the United States.
Ahead of this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge, the first PGA Tour event in three months because of the coronavirus pandemic, 25-year-old Rahm added his voice to calls for an end to systemic racism.
“I've never been racially profiled for the colour of my skin, but I have had some experiences and it's not a good feeling,” said the Spaniard.
“As a Hispanic immigrant in the US, even though I'm not even close to experiencing what some people have experienced in this world, even myself just speaking Spanish with one of my teammates or with people in some public areas, I've gotten dirty looks.
“And also we had a black girl on the golf team [at Arizona State University], I have black friends, I'm friends with a lot of athletes. As a human being, I can't fathom the reason why anybody would treat somebody differently just the way you look or they sound or what you believe in. We're all the same. We're all human beings, and we should all be treated the same way.”
Rahm added that the killing of Floyd by a police officer in Minnesota on May 25 has prompted him to devote more time and thought to how he can use his position as a high-profile athlete to help influence change.
“I've tried to reach out to understand more profoundly what's going on because if I've somehow experienced a little bit of what racism can be like, I can't imagine what some people have experienced throughout their whole life,” he said.
“And at the same time, as an athlete let's say in a mainly white sport with somewhat of a platform on social media, it was my belief to support this cause and try to reach as many people as possible.
“I understand you can't make everybody aware of everything, but if I can just have one more person understand the situation and support it, to me it's a win.
"Hopefully, a lot of people got to know about it, and also being somebody who's from Spain, by posting in English and Spanish, maybe some people in Spain understand the gravity of the situation and maybe they try to think of how they've treated people in the past.
“It's trying to raise awareness to everybody. It’s become the biggest civil rights movement in history. I just felt like I had to be a part of it and try to reach as many people as possible.”
Yesterday, the PGA Tour announced plans to honour Floyd by leaving open the 8:46am tee time at Colonial this week.