Black History Month: Henni Koyack reflects on racial inequality in golf

Golf broadcaster Henni Koyack believes more still needs to be done to make the sport more inclusive and has opened up about her past experiences of being discriminated against.

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The former Ladies European Tour player and ex-Sky Sports pundit was the first guest in a series of special podcast features to mark Black History Month, where she joined host Josh Antmann to discuss the continued lack of diversity within the game.

Golf’s governing bodies have made efforts to try and increase opportunities for ethnic minorities within golf and highlight areas for improvement, with Koyack struggling to comprehend why the issues remain so prevalent.

“It [racism] needs to be seen as an issue that needs to be fixed,” Koyack told the Sky Sports Golf podcast. “When we talk about amateur golfers, your day-to-day people who make up the game of golf, they need to see it as a problem.

    “I cannot understand for the life of me why that needs to be explained, because – from my point of view – any time there’s any kind of inequality, whether that’s through race, religion or gender, it’s not right.

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    “Why do we think that treating any human, regardless of their belief systems or preferences or skin colour, differently is okay? It really infuriates me that even needs to be explained. Why would you not want to include everyone possible in something that you love? If I love golf, why I would not want that to be open to as many people as possible?

    “We love the fact that golf’s great mentally, it’s great physically and brings you opportunities to feel like you belong, which is a basic human needed. If you have the opportunity to open those doors and benefits up to those less fortunate than you, or have had a tough life, or just look different to you, I don’t know why it still needs explaining that you should need to do that.”

    Golfers have made individual statements in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and the PGA Tour indicating they need to be “part of the solution”, with Koyack pleased to see the attempts of change being made from within the golfing industry.

    “It’ll probably take another 100 years of things like this to happen unfortunately to see any true change and true equality, where it really doesn’t matter how you look,” Koyack added.

    “I have seen really encouraging signs of companies caring and wanting to make significant social change and do their part towards that, to tell black stories, to amplify black voices and include black people.

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    “I think when you see companies leading the way, it makes other people sit up and pay attention and make people think that it’s an issue they have to be aware off. There’s so many mixed emotions as you see some good things and some great social media posts, then you see some of the comments and it’s completely disheartening and disappointing.”

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