New Jersey - The US Presidents Cup team has opted against any sort of national
anthem demonstration of the kind launched in the NFL and slammed by US
President Donald Trump, team captain Steve Stricker said on Tuesday.
Trump's bitter criticism of NFL players who declined to stand for the
anthem in protest of racial injustice in America sparked a fierce
backlash in the league, with more than 100 players demonstrating on
The debate has spilled over into other sports, including NASCAR motor racing and even the staid world of golf.
READ: New Trump outburst after another NFL team takes a knee
PGA Tour professional Peter Malnati became one of the game's first
pros to voice support for the demonstrations in a lengthy tweet this
Stricker said he had discussed the hot-button topic with his
assistant captains and players as they prepare for the biennial
matchplay showdown with an International team drawn from eight countries
around the world.
"There were no issues on our part," Stricker said. "We had a good
talk and we all realized that there are things going on in the world
that aren't right.
"But we wanted to show our support for the flag," Stricker said,
adding that acknowledging the anthem "gives us the opportunity to come
together as a team".
The upshot Stricker said, was that US players planned 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
It's possible they won't even be called on to do that.
In a brief opening ceremony shortly before the first tee time on
Thursday, fans at the first tee will see the Cup displayed and hear the
US anthem sung by Darius Rucker.
But it's possible some or all of the players will still be warming up at the practice facilities at the time.
Tony Johnstone, an assistant to International team captain Nick
Price, had already said he didn't believe it was the place of the
visiting team members to stage any kind of demonstration.
"If somebody came from overseas came to my home country and started
pontificating 'you should do this, you should do that,' I'd say 'why
don't you get stuffed, it's got nothing to do with you'," said
Johnstone, who like Price is from Zimbabwe.