Golfer Kevin Kisner apologizes for ‘reckless’ COVID comment

Golfer Kevin Kisner issued an apology and the PGA Tour put out a statement in response to the golfer’s tweet on Saturday morning in which he says he made a “reckless comment” about the guidelines that are in place to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Kisner, a two-time PGA Tour winner who is also a member of the tour’s policy board, responded to former NBA player Rex Chapman, who tweeted on Friday that parents of his friends have died from COVID-19 and that one of his own children was diagnosed with the virus.

“Guess they can’t follow the guidelines,” was Kisner’s reply.

Chapman, 52, starred at the University of Kentucky and had a 14-year NBA career. He has a huge Twitter audience with more than 950,000 followers.

“My friends parents have died from COVID & COVID related issues. My parents are in and out of the hospital. One of my kids tested positive for Covid today,” Chapman tweeted Friday. “Forgive me if I’m upset over 200,000 dead when the President told us 6 months ago we would be down to 0 cases “in a few days.”

Kisner’s response garnered plenty of reaction, and he removed it hours later. He issued an apology Saturday afternoon.

“Earlier this morning, I made a reckless comment. I diminished the real experience of pain and loss suffered by many during the pandemic. I am not without empathy, but I certainly exercised poor judgement. I apologize to @RexChapman and anyone else that was hurt by my comment.”

The PGA Tour issued a statement Saturday condemning Kisner’s comment.

“We found Kevin’s comment this morning to be both disappointing and out of character,” the statement said. “His remarks do not reflect the nature of our sport or organization, both of which strive to offer compassion and unity. We were pleased to see Kevin take ownership of the situation and have since spoken to him directly.”

As a member of the PGA Tour’s nine-member (four players) policy board, Kisner was instrumental in forming the plan for the tour to return to golf after a 13-week shutdown. Now in its 14th consecutive week of tournaments, the tour has gone six straight without a positive test among players or caddies and has reported just 11 on-site cases total.

Kisner has said he hopes fans can return at the start of the new year.

“I think we will transition to spectators as soon as we feel like we have a good plan that the players are comfortable with,” Kisner said earlier this month. “We need the fans back. Without the fans, the tournaments aren’t the same. The revenues aren’t the same. We need them back. All of us want to play in front of fans. We appreciate having people applauding our golf shots other than the one or two volunteers on a hole.”


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