Tiger Woods, surveying the social divides of the United States that spilled into the sports landscape this week, voiced a hope on Wednesday that “things can be healed”.
The 14-time major golf champion — battling back from a fourth back surgery this year in hopes of resurrecting his competitive career — is serving this week as an assistant to US captain Steve Stricker at the Presidents Cup.
Stricker said on Tuesday that his team had opted against any sort of national anthem demonstration of the kind launched in the National Football League and harshly criticised by US President Donald Trump.
As players, coaches and even some owners across the league responded to Trump’s barbs with shows of solidarity, Woods was asked what he made of the demonstrations.
“Obviously there’s a lot of unrest right now, whether it’s political or racial,” the 41-year-old said. “And that’s something that obviously has happened before in the past, and it’s happening in America right now.
“So hopefully things can be healed. We can progress as a nation and come together, not just only in the near future but for perpetuity.”
The topic of the anthem protests has hovered over the US team at Liberty National Golf Club, where the American golfers have a rare chance to play as a team representing their country.
They aren’t inclined to use the occasion as a vehicle for any sort of demonstration.
“Look, we have social injustices in this country and we should all strive to eliminate them,” said five-time major winner Phil Mickelson, who will play in his 12th Presidents Cup.
“We’ve made great strides over the years, but we’ve got a ways to go … but this week, I’m just so proud to represent the United States, to play for my country, to play for my teammates and participate in this great event.” AFP / SAMAA
Story first published: 28th September 2017