OLYMPIA FIELDS, Illinois – With racial tensions rising again after a police-involved shooting in Wisconsin, Cameron Champ decided to make a statement with his footwear at this week’s BMW Championship.
Champ, who is biracial, will wear a black and a white shoe to the penultimate event of the PGA Tour season. It’s a symbolic gesture Champ has made in the past, including last year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open to celebrate Black History Month. This time it’s in response to the August 23 shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisc., Less than 100 miles from Olympia Fields Country Club, which sparked days of protests and led to boycotted games. in the NBA, MLB. , MLS and WNBA Wednesday.
Champ wrote Blake’s name along with the letters “BLM” for Black Lives Matter on the white shoe he will wear on his right foot.
“It’s just spreading awareness and sticking to what I believe and what I believe needs to be changed,” said Champ. “I’ve seen many other athletes talk about it. It’s a situation where people don’t want to talk about it, which I understand, but at the same time it’s reality. It is what we live in. People ignore it for so long, and then it gets to the point where it explodes. And that’s just the overturning of the iceberg. Change has to happen. “
Champ took his second career PGA Tour win earlier this season at the Safeway Open and enters this week at number 25 in points, within the top-30 number needed to advance to the season-ending Tour Championship. He will start the opening round at 1:58 pm ET alongside Viktor Hovland and Kevin Kisner.
The Tour released a statement Thursday in support of player-led protests in other sports and efforts to “send a message that the current climate is unacceptable.”
“Over the summer the PGA Tour has committed to be part of the solution and we have actively worked to make deeper and more specific commitments to racial equality and inclusions in the communities we play in, as well as supporting national organizations within this movement with which we had not previously engaged “, reads the statement. “However, we understand that now is not the right time to emphasize our programs and policies, but rather to express our indignation at the injustice that remains prevalent in our country.”