Greg Norman has launched a new salvo at the PGA Tour as the battle rages on in the world of golf. The LIV CEO believes that the Tour brought the lawsuits it’s now facing from LIV golfers upon itself.
Since LIV Golf’s inception, Norman has consistently sided with the players, sharing a message that players have the right to play whenever, and wherever, they want to. LIV Golf hasn’t stepped on the PGA Tour’s toes from a scheduling standpoint either by not hosting tournaments the same week as major championships and marquee Tour events.
Just last week Norman told OutKick “it’s such an easy place for us (LIV Golf and the PGA Tour) to co-exist because our business model was built from the ground up to work within the ecosystem.”
The PGA Tour doesn’t share that same outlook. It has indefinitely suspended all LIV golfers from playing in future Tour events. With that being the case, Norman believes the antitrust lawsuit filed by 11 LIV golfers against the PGA Tour was brought on by its own actions.
“I believe players have the right to play when and where they choose so their talents can take them as far and high as possible,” Norman said in an exclusive statement shared with OutKick on Monday.
“I believe all players—whether they choose to play with LIV or the PGA Tour—understand and appreciate the purpose and importance of the players’ legal actions, across the globe. The PGA Tour is trying to cast this as “us” against “them. The players know better.”
Like every other dispute or legal battle in history, both parties involved here are going to believe they’re in the right.
Everyone would agree that PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan had to do something as LIV Golf continues to poach players and disrupt the golf world as we’ve known it for 50+ years.
Having said that, suspending LIV golfers indefinitely is like putting a bandaid on a dam leak. It stopped the leak for a moment until the inevitable legal battles begin, and now that the first has arrived, the Tour finds itself in a difficult situation.
Not only is the Tour being sued by some of its former players, but it’s also under investigation by the Department of Justice to determine if it has engaged in “anticompetitive behavior” with LIV Golf.
While Norman’s message of ‘players do have rights’ is an extremely simple one, it doesn’t mean it’s untrue or unimportant. Some players, you may even say most, wholeheartedly agree with Norman’s opinion. The 11 LIV golfers who signed their names on a lawsuit against the Tour certainly do.
These players don’t like being told where and when they can or can not play, especially when the Tour is profiting off of their golf games in general.
The legacy media and folks on Twitter are doing their best to pin every bit of blame on LIV Golf because it’s playing the role of a disruptor. That, or they don’t agree with the fact that it’s being funded by Saudia Arabia despite many other sports leagues having deep ties with China and other countries with terrible human rights records.
At the end of the day, we’re in the very early stages of this battle. You may despise LIV Golf and everything it stands for, but you have to admit that it has more momentum today than anyone would have ever imagined just a few short months ago.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris