After sporting the Black Lives Matter sticker on his bag last year, Kirk Triplett takes more action on social justice issues
Last August, Kirk Triplett put a Black Lives Matter sticker on his bag for the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship.
Following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Triplett was brought in to show his support for the cause of racial injustice because of his son Kobe, who is African American.
“I was thinking of my son, who is 18 and could be driving a car in a bad situation,” Triplett said Friday after the second round of the $ 3 million PGA Tour Champions major tournament. “I wanted to make sure it’s not his responsibility to defuse the situation.”
But Triplett knew that displaying the sticker wasn’t much of an action. An interview with Firestone Country Club and others that followed helped him discover a way to accelerate change.
One of his comments: “I actually Google what a white man can do? He said – caught the attention of Hall of Fame security Donnie Shell, who emailed Triplett and told him he had an answer to his question. The former Pittsburgh Steeler is a member of the board of directors of Dedication To Community (D2C), a national nonprofit that educates and empowers communities about diversity, belonging and equity. Triplett’s partnership with the organization was announced in February.
“Applying a Black Lives Matter sticker to your bag is just a little: ‘That’s a problem. “But you hope people are migrating from that to solutions and that’s the reason for Dedication To Community on my bag,” said Triplett. “Their main objective is the training of the police. These are guys who’ve been through the NFL, who’ve worked a lot with them on their driving policy, and the founder is [M.] Quentin Williams, he was an FBI agent and prosecutor.
“These guys have a solution. Train the police, train communities, help people understand each other better. What they’re really working on is communicating and not letting these situations escalate.
Triplett, who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., And his wife Cathi have four children – twins Conor and Sam, 25, daughter Alexis, 21, and Kobe, the latter two adopted. Alexis is Latino; Kobe’s biological father is Black, his Japanese mother.
Before Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin was convicted of second degree murder in Floyd’s murder on May 25, 2020, Triplett said he had several conversations with Kobe. Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years on Friday.
“We have discussed this quite regularly,” Triplett said of the Chauvin affair. “It doesn’t interest him much. It interested me very much when I spoke to him and said to him, “If you are stopped by the police, you have to do this, this and that. I have three other children and this conversation was completely different with them than with him. I thought, “This is where patent injustice comes in. “
“When people talk about systemic racism or systemic inequality… it’s something that’s really hard for me to visualize and understand because I’ve never been confronted with it. When I have this conversation with him, I just have a little idea of what it might look like. I think this is the first step, everyone understands what these people are sometimes faced with.
Triplett said Kobe got the message. The Triplets also participated in relationship training through D2C.
D2C has a partnership with the Miami Heat, trains Patrollers from Miami, the sponsor of the Heat, and is involved in other professional sports.
“They have an agreement with Joe Gibbs Racing and they train the organization there. They do stuff with the NHL, ”said Triplett. “The NHL is like golf, there aren’t a lot of racial issues in these sports because they’re so white, for lack of a better term, there’s not a lot of diversity.
“Today, most sports that lack diversity want to create opportunities. It’s not an overnight process, but part of it starts with funding and finding ways for young people to watch a sport and instead of saying, “Oh, this is the white man’s game. “, They think:” Here is this APGA “, [a non-profit tour to prepare African-American and minority golfers] or ‘I can go to school at an HBCU.’ There is a way to participate in sport.
Triplett sees progress in this regard.
“Phil Mickelson has made a significant donation to the HBCU golf teams,” he said. “The PGA Tour tries to help minorities gain access to golf through the PGA Tour. Billy Horschel also sponsored a tournament for the APGA. Access to health care, access to economic opportunities, all of those things.
“Golf does a great job contributing to the community. Perhaps we have not always done a great job in the area of social justice. I don’t see any reason why we can’t.