RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The PGA Tour Champions currently has no full-time Black players, but Kirk Triplett, who has been on the tour since 2012, has no problem speaking up when it comes to social justice movements. For Triplett, the phrase “Black Lives Matter” is personal.
“For me, the main thing is it’s representative of my family."
Triplett and his youngest son, Kobe, have had to have some difficult conversations throughout the course of his life. Kobe was adopted by Triplett and his wife and is now 18-years old. Kobe is Black, and the golfer recalls discussing things with him that he did not need to talk about with his other children.
“Those conversations really hit home for me,” Triplett remarked. “As a country we’ve got some issues here that we need to address.”
With the tour paused because of the pandemic and protests spreading worldwide, the golfer had plenty of time to think and reflect on some of those discussions he’s had with his youngest son as he saw events unfold. The message he felt needed to be shared wasn’t as visible at golf events as it was in other sports, so in August he added a “Black Lives Matter” sticker to his golf bag.
“It wasn’t a big risk because you look at sports across the country right now and athletes are talking about these issues,” Triplett noted. “It frustrates some people, some fans, but I think for the most part, yeah, people get it.”
While the 58-year old Scottsdale, Arizona, resident may be the only one expressing himself in a public way, he feels the support of his fellow players.
“I’ve had numerous players come up to me and say ‘we’re proud you for doing that. Thank you.’ I think there are a lot of people who feel the same way I feel, but they just really don’t know how to express it.”
Which brings us to the other message Triplett has on his bag- a red, white and blue button that simply says “Vote.”
“The only chance you really have to express it is maybe when you go to the polls, so you know, that’s kind of the two things I put on my bag.”
Triplett wants the Black community to know that he hears it loud and clear. He’ll continue to use his platform to try and create better for his family and anybody else he can help along the way.
“My parents created opportunity for me, I want to do what I can to create opportunity for my kids, their kids, and anybody else I can create opportunity for.”
The PGA plans to commit $100 million over the course of the next ten years towards racial and social justice causes.
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