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Everything About Scottie Scheffler’s Arrest Would Have Been Different If He Were Black

Everything About Scottie Scheffler’s Arrest Would Have Been Different If He Were Black | Photo: Sam Hodde via Getty Images
Everything About Scottie Scheffler’s Arrest Would Have Been Different If He Were Black | Photo: Sam Hodde via Getty Images

Recently, the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world, Scottie Scheffler, was arrested by the Louisville Metro Police Department. The same police department is responsible for the murder of Breonna Taylor in 2020. Instantly, this coverage piqued my my interest. I mean, it isn’t every day that a white golfer is arrested. So, over the last week, further details have dropped — and the one thought I can’t shake is that a Black person wouldn’t have been as fortunate to be left the situation with no physical wounds.

According to reports, Scheffler didn’t obey an officer’s request to stop his car where traffic was being redirected due to a prior accident. Scheffler accelerated as the officer was holding onto the car, and he allegedly was dragged briefly as a result. What cameras in the surrounding area picked up was moments after those details. It’s been reported that Scheffler was forcibly taken from the vehicle as well.

Photo: Louisville Department of Corrections via Getty Images
Photo: Louisville Department of Corrections via Getty Images

Knowing what we know now, any Black person would likely prefer the treatment Scheffler received. Not to gloss over it, but it beats more excessive force being used. You know, the type of force that could result in the loss of one’s life. Scheffler was booked and then released and made it to tee time for the second round of the PGA tournament. I’ll be damned, wow! He made it to work after this arrest which is slowly seeming like one big “misunderstanding.” Privilege is a hell of a thing. By virtue of his skin color, I believe Scheffler is alive today. For the record, I don’t think that is lost on him. I have no reason to believe that he doesn’t consider himself fortunate. But the tenor in which this ordeal was covered seemed sympathetic. He was given the benefit of the doubt from the beginning.

The LMPD showed that even with some force allegedly used against Scheffler, they do have enough sense not senselessly to kill a person. My feeling is that this case will blow over with little to no consequence for Scheffler. The officer who arrested him is already being disciplined for not turning on his body cam for this interaction. But what I believe was exhibited here was some restraint from the LMPD on a national stage. I am not absolving them for how they might have handled this arrest. I am however highlighting the vast difference in how Black people are handled in these situations versus white people.

Ultimately, I suppose it’s just a hope of mine that we get to a place in this country, where an arrest like this can happen for a non-violent offense and a Black person can get right back to their life within a couple of hours. I’ve heard some takes on this situation in which it was said we should be laughing at how silly this was all handled. I wish I could see it as just a weird miscarriage of justice. But given the setting, being near a country club and involving a white man, I couldn’t do that. Scheffler would’ve never imagined running into this situation before he left his room that morning. But he got to live after all of this. Whether you contextualize this arrest militantly or jocularly, let’s give legitimate credence to the privilege on display.