World No. 1 Rory McIlroy has said he wants to see greater racial diversity in golf and hopes the Black Lives Matter movement will lead to lasting change in society.
The Northern Irishman said he idolized Tiger Woods when he was growing up and hopes to see more racial diversity in professional golf.
“Tiger doesn’t look the same as me, has had a very different upbringing to the one that I have had, but he was my hero growing up,” McIlroy told reporters on Wednesday on the eve of the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club.
“It didn’t matter what color his skin was, what his beliefs were. Tiger was my hero, and he’s been a lot of kids’ heroes over the years.
“We’ve been very lucky to have him in our game. I think that there should be more people like him in golf.”
McIlroy also said the change needs to be about more than just the players on the course.
“It’s about everyone in the game of golf,” he said. “There’s so many people that are involved with the game, and as long as we continue to give people from different backgrounds opportunities to be in golf, that can only be a good thing.”
The PGA Tour plans to honor George Floyd with a moment of silence each morning during the tournament, something McIlroy called “a wonderful gesture”.
“The fact that it does seem to be this real will to change and have reform is amazing,” he said.
“I think people have learned a lot over the last few weeks, and, hopefully, we’ll see things change as time goes on.”