When it comes to the debate regarding national anthem protests, PGA Tour players are not the first people many would run to for a quote. But after one of the more polarizing weekends in the NFL, with teams responding in a unified manner to President Trump's recent comments, the hot button issue is now seeping into every major sport.
That includes golf, thanks to Peter Malnati becoming one of the first pros to offer an opinion on the matter over the weekend. It's reasonable to expect more players to express their view on the topic with the Presidents Cup taking place at Liberty National in Jersey City, N.J.
Davis Love III won't be playing in the team event, but he will act as an assistant captain for the American team. Appearing on Golf Channel's "Morning Drive" on Tuesday morning, the 21-time PGA Tour winner and 2017 Hall of Fame inductee was asked about his views on the protests, and how the matter will be handled this week when the anthem is played.
"I think you'll see in golf, there's a little bit more restraint. We adhere to our rulebook and to our core values and traditions, I think that's why our sport is so successful," Love III said.
After praising how NASCAR handles its pre-race routine, the two-time Ryder Cup captain added:
"There's a time for us to protest," he said, "and it really isn't during the national anthem. We ought to take a break during the National Anthem to thank our country, to thank our forefathers who went before us. And then, we can protest with our votes, with letters to our congressmen or however we want."
"I think President Trump is right, there's a time for protest and it probably isn't during the national anthem and our country has fought hard for that right."
Don't expect the U.S. Presidents Cup team to make any statements either. During a Tuesday morning press conference, U.S. captain Steve Stricker was asked if the team had discussed doing anything. Stricker said he had polled his team and the consensus was not to do anything out of the ordinary.
"Yeah, I just wanted to know what they wanted to do and how we wanted to proceed as a team," Stricker said. "So we were going to do what we always do and that's take off our hat and put our hands across our chest and over our heart and respect the flag. So that's what we're planning on doing"