Woods watched the Los Angeles riots near his home in Southern California as a promising teenage golfer in 1992, witnessing looting, violence and protests following a brutal police attack on construction worker and activist Rodney King.

He went on to become the first black man to win the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, where blacks were once excluded, and has said that his “heart goes out” to the family of George Floyd, who died after a police officer held his knee on his neck in a violent arrest on May 25.

“I have always had the utmost respect for our law enforcement,” said Woods, who has played golf with embattled US president Donald Trump as part of a relationship that began before the billionaire came to power.

“They train so diligently to understand how, when and where to use force. This shocking tragedy clearly crossed that line.

“We can make our points without burning the very neighborhoods that we live in. I hope that through constructive, honest conversations we can build a safer, unified society.”

Six-time NBA champion Jordan had earlier called on the public to vote for “systemic change” in this year’s presidential elections and put pressure on leaders to “change our laws”, adding that he was “deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry.”

“I see and feel everyone’s pain, outrage and frustration,” added the Charlotte Hornets owner. “I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country. We have had enough.

“We need to continue peaceful expressions against injustice and demand accountability. Every one of us needs to be part of the solution, and we must work together to ensure justice for all.”

Sponsors Nike, who issued an anti-racism advert last week, replied to Jordan’s announcement with a message of support, but his words provoked a mixture of praise and criticism on social media, with some fans thanking him for exercising his influence while others suggested he had taken too long to speak out.

Woods’s sentiments received an even more divided reception. “I loved [Jordan’s] statement yesterday which struck both an empathetic chord with a very strong enough,” wrote one follower, calling his statement “weak and meaningless”.

Others told Woods to denounce Trump and questioned why he had taken a week to make his opinions publicly known following the death of Floyd, which has seen the president threaten to deploy the army amid escalating anger and scenes of violence in some states.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

CBA top draft Wang voted as Rising Star of the Month

  BEIJING — Beijing Royal Fighters forward Wang Shaojie was voted as the third edition’s Rising Star of the Month in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league on Monday. This edition’s award took games in January and five matches after…

Tokyo Paralympic test event of boccia tournament cancelled over coronavirus concerns

TOKYO – A test event for the Tokyo Paralympic Games, the boccia tournament, has been canceled on Thursday by The Japan Para Sports Association (JPSA) because of the outbreak of coronavirus. The Japan Para Championships Boccia, due to take place…

Beckham fears what ‘brutal’ 1998 red card fallout would be like today

David Beckham believes social media would have made the “brutal” reaction to his 1998 World Cup red card even worse, with the criticism faced by footballers today significantly harsher than what the former England captain had to face. Beckham’s comments…

Postponing Olympics ‘most promising’ path

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee leaders said, “It’s more clear than ever that the path toward postponement is the most promising,” after surveying more than 1,780 Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls about the coronavirus’ impact on their training and, potentially, the…