Los Angeles (AFP)

Golf superstar Tiger Woods called the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man victim of a homicide by a white police officer, "a shocking tragedy" but said that violent protests were not the solution.

"I have always had the utmost respect for our police. They train with such diligence to understand how, when and where to use force. This shocking tragedy clearly crossed that line," wrote the 44-year-old American golfer in a statement posted on his Twitter account.

Woods' statement follows comments from several other athletes and former athletes, including NBA legend Michael Jordan, who said he was "angry," and tennis player Coco Gauff, who asked: "Am I next?"

"My thoughts are with George Floyd, his family and all of us who are currently suffering," said Tiger Woods, who compared the situation to the 1992 Los Angeles riots. The riots began after the acquittal of four white police accused of beating a black motorist, Rodney King, after a chase.

"I remember the riots in Los Angeles and learned that education is the best way to go," wrote Woods, 15-time Grand Slam winner. "We can assert our views without setting fire to the neighborhoods in which we live," he added.

"I hope that through honest and constructive conversations we can build a safer and more united society," said Woods.

© 2020 AFP