Tiger Woods has revealed he had no intention of sitting out this week’s BMW Championship in solidarity with racial and social injustice protests currently taking place across America.
Many other major sports and athletes have downed tools this week following the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Blake, a black man, was shot seven times in the back by police near Milwaukee on Sunday, leading to widespread demonstrations across the US.
The NBA postponed three basketball play-off matches on Wednesday after the Milwaukee Bucks called off their fixture.
Three baseball games were also called off after teams decided not to play, with five MLS matches postponed, too. Meanwhile, tennis ace Naomi Osaka withdrew from a WTA match in protest at the shooting.
Ahead of the first round of the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields – the second of the FedEx Cup Playoff events – the PGA Tour released a statement saying that it would support any of its members “standing up for issues they believe in”.
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After opening with a three-over 73, Woods was asked by reporters if he had contemplated sitting out the event.
“No, I talked to the commissioner and they were on board,” said the 15-time major champion. “Obviously, he released his statement, and all the guys were on board. So no, obviously there was talk about it because of obviously what happened, but we're all on board, on the same page.”
Tony Finau, another high-profile black player in the field this week, added that it “didn’t really cross my mind” to sit out the event but said: “I don't think I would have been surprised if somebody decided to not play in support and boycott maybe playing the first round or boycott the BMW Championship.
“There's a lot of sports leagues that have done that. Our tour has taken the position that we support, that we're going to continue to play. We do a lot of good in this area, and we have for over 100 years, so to take that away I think is a big deal for us, and that's why I think we continue to play.”