USGA issue statement on racial protests

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The USGA has said that it is “deeply saddened” by the death of American George Floyd and admitted that golf at times has “fallen short” of the values it stands for. 

The statement was issued on Thursday in response to the racial protests that have sparked up across America since the death of George Floyd on May 25.

“The USGA is deeply saddened and disturbed by the tragic killing of George Floyd, and the racial social injustice that continue to exist in our country,” read the statement.

“We will use our voice, our position and our actions to inspire change within our society.”

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As well as committing to a stance of change, the organisation also recognised that golf and the USGA has previously fallen short in certain departments of preserving the game’s values.

“While the game of golf is built on the values of fairness, integrity and respect towards all individuals, we recognise that our game’s history has not always represented the best of these ideals, and at times our own organisation has fallen short.

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“The USGA joins the call for open dialogue, understanding, unity, and the courage to envision and build a better world. We commit to being part of the solution moving forward.”

As well as the USGA making a stand, the PGA of America also released an open letter from PGA of America president Suzy Whaley and CEO Seth Waugh.

“Racism must be defeated in a fight we can no longer ignore,” wrote Suzy Whaley.

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“It is my belief that humanity stems from kindness, faith, and hope. But as I watch the continued injustice against African Americans in our communities, the mass destruction and hopelessness, the frustration and the call for action in cities nationwide to stand for what is just and humane, I understand the power we have as a game and as a group of individuals that will no longer tolerate the racism and bigotry that lives today and has lived in our past. Our spaces can be used for good, to invite and welcome people from all walks of life and to rise up and say no more. Enough is enough. 

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Waugh confronted his own privilege as a white male in the letter, and further remarked that staying silent in this moment "on this existential question at this important moment is simply unacceptable."

He added: “Because of our nearly 29,000 PGA Golf Professionals, I believe we are positioned to lead the conversation and take action on how golf can help. We are certainly not proud of every chapter in golf’s imperfect past, including our own failings, but we can certainly be proud of the future we can build together if we become a committed part of the solution.”

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