PGA Tour announces initiative to help Ukraine
PONTE VEDRA BEACH—The PGA Tour announced an industry-wide effort to aid Ukraine on Tuesday.
Speaking at the Players Championship, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said this push, titled “Golfers for Ukraine,” will be directed to UNICEF's work in the country. The tour says this will be a joint initiative involving many of the leading golf organizations in the world, and has made a sizable donation to begin the fundraising drive.
"Our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine and those caught in the crosshairs of the conflict. We hope for an end to the senseless violence and a peaceful resolution," Monahan said. "The industry is collecting donations for UNICEF, a United Nations agency responsible for providing Tour and development aid to children impacted by this crisis. The PGA TOUR and many others have already made donations, and we are encouraging support from the broader golf ecosystem.
Monahan also said ribbons in the colors of the Ukrainian flag have been made available to players, caddies and staff to be worn this week at TPC Sawgrass.
"The game of golf has an incredible way of rallying around causes that really matter, and this is one," Monahan said.
A website for the endeavor reads, “There are no winners here. No victories to be had. And no business edge. We just want to make a stand for what we believe is right and to invite everyone who feels the same way to join us.”
According to UNICEF, the humanitarian group is trucking safe water to conflicted-affected areas, health supplies to families and providing psychosocial care to traumatized children and children separated from family.
“Luckily the PGA Tour and some of the golf industries are working on something to support that, which I think a lot of us might jump on, but hoping they can find at least a way to maneuver it because it's a lot of innocent people that shouldn't be going through this,” Jon Rahm said earlier in the morning.
Prior to Monahan’s statement, players like Rahm and Rory McIlroy commented on the ongoing conflict.
“It's hard. It's hard to see, honestly,” Rahm said. “I think I saw some news that they might be targeting or not, but they're bombing schools in Ukraine, which to me is absolutely ludicrous. I don't know what goes through a human being's mind to be doing that at this day and age really. I don't know. I can't rationalize it in my head, but it's happening, and hopefully they can find a solution soon.
“But it's sad, honestly. It's really sad. Those people in Ukraine right now need help because through no fault of their own they're going through what they're going through … Nobody should, but -- I really am at a loss for words every time I think about it because I can't believe it honestly. I have a hard time believing what goes through Putin's mind to be doing this.”
Added McIlroy: “I think what's going on in Ukraine is absolutely horrible. I think everyone would agree with that. It's absolutely brutal. It's sad. It's heartbreaking to see what's happening to that country and those people and the families. It's something that I don't understand. It's certainly, like my knowledge on geopolitical stuff is very low, but I just think from just a human side of things, it's just horrible what's going on.”
Millions have fled Ukraine following the unprovoked invasion and attacks by Russian forces, with the United Nations calling it one of the worst refugee situations since World War II. Millions more remain unable to leave with assaults killing civilians, and resources and supplies are running dangerously low.