Tiger Woods says police 'crossed the line' in George Floyd killing, compares protests with 1992 LA riots
Tiger Woods has joined celebrities like Jay-Z, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Lizzo to speak against racism and police brutality following the May 25 death of George Floyd.
Floyd, an unarmed African-American, was killed last week after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. His tragic death triggered demonstrations across the US. Police officer Derek Chauvin was fired following the incident and later charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
“My heart goes out to George Floyd, his loved ones, and all of us who are hurting right now. I have always had the utmost respect for our law enforcement. They train so diligently to understand how, when, and where to use force. This shocking tragedy clearly crossed that line,” Woods said in a statement on Twitter.
However, he also condemned protests turning violent, saying he remembered the Los Angeles riots of 1992. The five days of riot stemmed from the acquittal of four white Los Angeles Police Department officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King in 1991. It left over fifty people dead and more than 2,000 injured.
"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,” the ace golfer added in the statement.
Earlier, Wood’s niece, Cheyenne Woods, shared her views over Floyd’s death and the ongoing nationwide protests. “Just thinking about (George Floyd) again gives me goosebumps and chills. This is a tough reality of what’s going on in our country. It’s a storyline and it’s a tragedy that has happened way too many times in all of the histories of society, but now again it’s being filmed and being broadcast on social media, so it is spreading,” Cheyenne told Golfweek.
The 29-year-old added: “It’s confusing that it’s still happening. It’s frustrating to see people still defending or not quite understanding why people are so outraged. It’s sad to see and heartbreaking that that is a reality of black America and to think about the conversations that you have to have with your children about police interactions or how to deal with being in the society in general. Conversations about it are really difficult to have. You see it in the news, it’s hard to watch, hard to talk about. But it is the reality of what people deal with so it’s important to have these conversations.”
Recently, Michael Jordan also condemned the death and sent his condolences to the Floyd family for their tragic loss. In a statement shared on various social media accounts associated with Jordan, the basketball legend said: “I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry. I see and feel everyone's pain, outrage, and frustration. I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country. We have had enough.”
“My heart goes out to the family of George Floyd and to the countless others whose lives have been brutally and senselessly taken through acts of racism and injustice,” Jordan added.