It’s officially Juneteenth in Los Angeles, and the weather could not be more beautiful. So what better way to spend the holiday than on the golf course?!


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On Monday, June 19th, Change The Game and lifestyle apparel company TravisMathew collided to throw the ultimate celebrity Topgolf event, bringing out a slew of athletes and entertainers to partake in the festivities. The exclusive, invite-only event saw appearances from Reggie Bush, Terrell Owens, Karen Civil, Tommie Harris, Don Benjamin, TJ Ward, Robert Richard, and many more.

Founded by Brian Amlani, Change The Game Sports Series is a Los Angeles-based firm who works with a diverse roster of talent to push the agenda of diversity in sport through the lens of culture. The day began with an inspirational panel discussion with speaker/entrepreneur Karen Civil and NFL veteran Tommie Harris, before the highly-anticipated Celebrity Golf Shootout Challenge. Following the golf portion, the evening concluded with a Players’ Night Out Party.

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The Source had the opportunity to speak with attendees to discuss what Juneteenth meant to them, and what it means to be golfing on the holiday.

Don Benjamin: 

What does Juneteenth mean to you?

Freedom. Culture. Opportunities. Awareness. All those things bubble into one for me.

What’re you most excited for today on the golf course?

I love it man. I love that the culture is tapping into golf. I’m new to it still, but, but it’s a dope thing. It’s dope for the youth to have something new to dive into, instead of just basketball or football. I’m trying to spread the awareness on it. It’s cool to be here golfing, Topgolf LA. It’s gonna be dope, I’m excited. 

Reggie Bush:

What does Juneteenth mean to you?

Juneteenth is about the celebration of African American culture, and bringing people together. Also really informing people too, about black history to where we are now currently. Just educating people on those things. It’s a celebration of culture, life, also moving forward too. The progress needs to be as much a part of the conversation as well. 

What’re you most excited for today on the golf course?

Anytime I get a chance to swing the sticks, I’m happy. I’m in my happy place. I’m always working on my game. I’m always tinkering. I’m always trying to fine tune the little things, the fundamentals. It’s like a puzzle you’re always trying to put together. When I was a kid, I had these big, massive puzzle puzzles. I’d always feel a little overwhelmed because they were so big, you always try to find those right pieces. Golf is that same way, you’re always trying to find those right pieces to put into that puzzle for each swing. I’m always excited to swing the golf clubs. 

Terrell Owens:

What does Juneteenth mean to you? 

Us to really represent ourselves. For so many years, there’s so many things that have happened, where we don’t really get our just due. Not to mention all the social injustice things that have happened over the course of the last two or three years. But again, this is a moment, a day for us to represent. Really stand up and really show who we are. It’s all about the culture. 

What’re you most excited for today on the golf course?

I’m just excited to be here. I don’t claim to be a golfer by any means. Like I tell people, I’m a realist as far as my skill set and my talents, and what I put forth my efforts in. Golf is not something that I really delved into, to say okay, I’m nice at this. Anything else, I got you. Golf? I’m just here to have fun and support my friends that are doing this event. 

Karen Civil:

What does Juneteenth mean to you? 

It’s fellowship. It’s coming together, celebration. Black people, independence, and it feels good. Moving to California where I really got an understanding of Juneteenth and the importance of it. To be out now with Change The Game who are creating sports initiatives for people of color, to include us. We’re at the golf range right now, this is very fun. It’s about fellowship, coming together. Seeing black men here, seeing black people.

Are you a golfer? 

That’s the whole premise of this. I’m excited that I’m not, I’m very amateur. But the fact that TravisMatthew, Change The Game, Topgolf are coming together. To teach us golf, getting us together. Let us have a good day. Again, it’s about the fellowship. We have food, music, cigars, just hanging out. It’s a nice way to celebrate us.

TJ Ward:

What does Juneteenth mean to you?

Independence, for our culture. It’s not July 4th, it’s not America’s independence. No, it’s our independence — well, somewhat independence. It means a lot. It means we become fully ourselves at some point, regardless of what the government and the little nuances in between. But it means freedom. 

Are you a golfer?

I’m a golfer for sure.

Robert Ri’chard:

What does Juneteenth mean to you? 

It’s important to be out here. Juneteenth right now represents sort of a new America. All of us can feel that we’ve been enslaved before. To be out here and be welcomed into a traditionally all white sport where we’re here, it’s an affluent sport. But we have all these men in the community coming from every walk of life. Embracing everyone, inviting us to be out here. We’ve got brands here, it’s important to show that credibility. It’s a family affair, so it’s good. Coming off of Father’s Day, it’s important we have these people in the community doing this for us.

What’re you most excited for today on the golf course?

I’m really excited for the camaraderie. I love the community. I love the conversations that happen on the golf course, they can be life-changing. To be able to be invited here and to benefit from that is great. 

About The Author

Shirley Ju is a Journalist & On-Camera Host based in Los Angeles. she's been writing and interviewing artists in the entertainment industry for over 12 years. she started her own show called Shirley's Temple, with a focus on mental health. Shirley lives, breathes, and sleeps music, and if there’s a show in LA, you can find her there. Born in the Bay Area, the Hyphy movement is in her blood. Follow her at @shirju on both Instagram and Twitter.

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