Tiger Woods Praises Black Lives Matter: 'A Movement and Change Is Fantastic'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2020

DUBLIN, OHIO - JULY 14: Tiger Woods smiles during a practice round prior to The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club on July 14, 2020 in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Tiger Woods praised the Black Lives Matter movement ahead of his return to the PGA Tour this week in the 2020 Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.

"I think change is fantastic," Woods told reporters Tuesday. "As long as we make changes without hurting the innocent—and unfortunately that has happened, hopefully it doesn't happen in the future—but a movement and change is fantastic.

"That's how society develops. That's how we grow. That's how we move forward. That's how we have fairness. Unfortunately, we've lost innocent lives along the way, and hopefully we don't lose any more in the future as we move to a much better place socially."

Woods previously posted a statement about the movement June 1 amid nationwide protests after George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed while in Minneapolis Police custody:

The 15-time major champion also discussed the coronavirus pandemic, which led him to skip the first six tournaments of the Tour's restart for safety reasons.

"I just felt it was better to stay at home and be safe," he said. "I'm used to playing with lots of people around me or having lots of people have a direct line to me, and that puts not only myself in danger but my friends and family, and just been at home practicing and social distancing and being away from a lot of people."

Although play has resumed, fans aren't allowed in attendance, meaning Woods won't be accompanied by the massive galleries he's grown accustomed to over the past two-plus decades.

"It's going to be different, there's no doubt about it," he said. "For most of my career, pretty much almost every competitive playing round that I've been involved in, I've had people around me, spectators yelling, a lot of movement inside the gallery with camera crews and media."

Woods last played in February's Genesis Invitational. He won the Zozo Championship in October to tie Sam Snead for the PGA Tour record of 82 victories.

His schedule for the remainder of the year is unsettled because of the revamped, condensed slate created by moving tournaments around that were postponed by the pandemic. He'll likely focus mostly on the three majors: the PGA Championship (Aug. 6-9), U.S. Open (Sept. 17-20) and Masters (Nov. 12-15).

He's the defending Masters champion after winning his fifth Green Jacket last April.

Woods will tee off the Memorial, where he's also a five-time winner, at 1:17 p.m. ET on Thursday alongside Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka.