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Koepka condemns Floyd's death, says racism must be confronted

FILE PHOTO: Jul 18, 2020; Dublin, Ohio, USA; Brooks Koepka plays his shot from the seventh tee during the third round of The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Golfer Brooks Koepka said that racism must be confronted across the globe, speaking to reporters ahead of the 3M Open, the first major sporting event in the greater Minneapolis region since the death of George Floyd in police custody.

Floyd’s death in May prompted widespread protests across the country and a reckoning over racism in the United States, as more professional sporting leagues embraced protests for racial justice.

“It’s pathetic what happened,” Koepka told reporters on Tuesday. “Then you watch it multiple, multiple times, it’s tough. You know, I get chills right now just even thinking about it.”

The four-time major winner added: “If there’s anything good, we’re starting to see change.”

Athletes from Major League Baseball to the English Premier League have taken a knee in support of Black Lives Matter. The NBA, which resumes its COVID-interrupted season on July 30, will have “Black Lives Matter” printed on the game court.

The PGA Tour held a moment of silence for Floyd at each round of June’s Charles Schwab Challenge, as it returned from hiatus.

“Obviously this is a difficult time for everyone,” world number four Dustin Johnson told reporters. “No one ever wants to see something like that happen. Hopefully we can do things to mitigate those circumstances in the future.”

Reporting By Amy Tennery; editing by Richard Pullin

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