Presidents Cup: Time for protest, and it probably isnt during the Anthem

Publish Date : 2021-04-06


Presidents Cup: Time for protest, and it probably isnt during the Anthem

Their stance follows US President Donald Trump's recent suggestion to NFL owners that players not standing for the National Anthem are 'sons of bitches,' unpatriotic, and should be fired.

NFL players began to kneel during the National Anthem last year, when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during 'The Star-Spangled Banner' before kickoff to protest against racial and social injustice, sparking both support and backlash.

However, US golfers have struck a more conciliatory tone.



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'I think President Trump is right,' said Davis Love III, last year's victorious Ryder Cup captain and an assistant to Steve Stricker this week at the Presidents Cup, which pits the star-studded US golfers against an International side in the biennial competition.

'There is a time for protest, and it probably isn't during the National Anthem,' Davis Love III told Golf Channel's Morning Drive show Tuesday.

The Presidents Cup is being staged at the Liberty National course on the New Jersey shore in sight of the Statue of Liberty. The incumbent president is the event's honorary chairman.

Trump has yet to confirm whether he will attend the event, but Love suggested there would be no issues at Thursday's opening ceremony.

'I think you'll see in golf that there's a little bit more restraint,' Love said.

'We adhere to our rulebook and to our core values and to our traditions, and I think that's why our sport is so successful. There's a time for us to protest, and it really isn't during the National Anthem.

'We ought to take a break during the prayer or during the National Anthem to thank our country, to thank our forefathers who went before us. And then we can protest with our votes, with our letters to our congressmen or however we want.'

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'Pay respect'

US captain Stricker said 'none' of his team wanted to protest during the National Anthem.

'We are going to do what we always do; take off our hat and put our hands across our chest and over our heart and respect the flag,' said Stricker.

Another US star Rickie Fowler is an advocate of free speech but agreed that the National Anthem should be respected.



'We have our flag, our freedom,' he said. 'The people who fought for our right to be able to do that. Those guys have their right and freedom of speech to do what they want.

'Do I necessarily think it's the right time to do it? No. It's our National Anthem. It's our country's flag so it's a special time to, I guess, in a way pay respect and remember what a great country we get to live in.

'But it is, you know, free speech you can do what you want but I just think it may be better at a different time.'

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'Beneath the office of presidency'

Phil Mickelson -- at 47 the elder statesman of the US team -- added: 'We have social injustices in this country we should all strive to eliminate them.

'We've made great strides over the years but we've got a way to go. And we should all strive to eliminate those.'

Trump's remarks to supporters at a rally in Alabama last week sparked a deluge of responses across the US and on social media.

On Sunday at London's Wembley Stadium, over 20 players and staff from the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars took a knee to protest against racial and social injustice -- and defy Trump.

Hours later, their counterparts back in the US followed suit as players throughout the NFL sat or knelt before kickoff. Others opted to link arms, while the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans remained in their locker rooms.

Few golfers aired their views, although Peter Malnati, a one-time PGA Tour winner, wrote a lengthy Twitter post in which he said Trump's words were 'divisive. Just like our 'leader.''

Fellow pro Paul Goydos told Golf.com: 'In my personal opinion, this is beneath the office of the presidency.'

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He added: 'Who am I to say what Colin Kaepernick should or shouldn't do? I don't know what his struggles have been.'

Few golfers aired their views, although Peter Malnati, a one-time PGA Tour winner, wrote a lengthy Twitter post in which he said Trump's words were 'divisive. Just like our 'leader.'' 'We ought to take a break during the prayer or during the National Anthem to thank our country, to thank our forefathers who went before us. And then we can protest with our votes, with our letters to our congressmen or however we want.' 'Pay respect' 'I think President Trump is right,' said Davis Love III, last year's victorious Ryder Cup captain and an assistant to Steve Stricker this week at the Presidents Cup, which pits the star-studded US golfers against an International side in the biennial competition.

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