The American golfer shared a story of his experience at the hands of police back in 2014.


Tony Finau Shares His Experience of Police Brutality And Racism

Amid immense social unrest in the United States and across the world following George Floyd’s death last month, Tony Finau has spoken up about his past experiences of racism.

Finau, a professional golfer currently ranked in the world’s top-20, and a player who has represented the United States in both the Ryder Cup and President’s Cup, is of Polynesian descent and is one of the few players of colour on Tour.

And yet despite representing his country, Finau acknowledged that he has been mistreated simply because of the colour of his skin.

Finau shared an experience from 2014 in which he was put behind bars.

“Have I dealt with racism in my life as a person of colour in this country? Yes, I have,” he said.

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Silence is not a position I will take. It is time to add greater understanding to our perspectives. It is time for all of us to build a future together that treats everyone with the dignity, fairness, respect and equality that they deserve. I stand with you. #BlackLivesMatter

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“I was put behind bars for the first time in my life, the only time in my life, and in handcuffs for the first time in my life and only time in my life, because of the colour of my skin,” Finau recalled.

“I was with my friend, who was white. He was driving and he had a couple bad tickets… so he had a warrant out for his arrest. When we were pulled over, the officer asked us both to get out of the car,” Finau said. “I asked him why, and with more intense words [he] told me to get out of the car.”

“So, of course I cooperated with him. I got out of the car. Within seconds, my face was slammed up against the passenger door and I was in handcuffs,” Finau said.

Finau won two points from three matches in his Ryder Cup debut at Le Golf National in 2018. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

“To try and describe the feeling of injustice, unfairness at this time and try to portray that to those that have never been made to feel that way, it’s a very inhumane feeling and wrong on all levels,” Finau said. “It’s a criminal act for law enforcement to treat anyone this way, but especially those of colour.”

Finau acknowledged that he had been grappling with the issue of whether to speak up about his experience, but he figured the worst thing to do would be to stay silent.

“I voice my opinion because I stand with those that are for justice, for equality, and against police brutality and anyone abusing their authority because of the colour of someone else’s skin,” Finau said. “I think there’s a way to move this country forward by understanding each other, listening to each other, and to continue to spread love.”

Finau will play alongside Lanto Griffin and Sebastian Munoz at the Charles Schwab Challenge hosted at Colonial Country Club.

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