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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) joined OutKick’s Dan Dakich on Thursday’s edition of Don’t @ Me with Dan Dakich to discuss a variety of topics that bridged the gap between sports and politics.
One of those topics was the pending merger between the PGA Tour and Saudi-backed LIV Golf.
After noting how the Saudi Arabians have thrown their money all over the place, Dakich asked the senator what Congress might be looking at concerning the merger.
“Well, first of all, this was not my prompting,” Sen. Johnson explained. “My original comment is I thought Congress ought to stay the you-know-what out of the situation; let the PGA and live work this thing out themselves.
“But, you know, the chairman (Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT) of the committee that I’m ranking member on, wanting to get involved and now we’re going to hold a hearing.”
That committee is the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which has invited representatives from both LIV and the PGA to the hearing. Sen. Johnson said he has joined Sen. Blumenthal in inviting people in hopes of a fair hearing.
Sen. Johnson Wants Congress To Hear From Everyone And Give Them A Fair Chance
Sen. Johnson also noted that with LIV especially, money played a powerful role.
“First of all, you have to recognize — I think people do — money talks,” he said, before noting that he’s a big fan of sports and golf in particular.
“I enjoy watching excellence being performed, and to me, golf is just one of the purest sports because it is just so individual. It just requires a level of excellence that is combined with good fortune and luck,” Sen. Johnson said. “And when you see these players who’ve never won a tournament finding winning a tournament, you see the emotion flow out of them, and that’s just fun, and I don’t want to see the game of golf ruined.”
The senator noted typically other nations investing in America is a good thing, however, there Saudis carry some significant baggage.
“You want people investing in America and it helps make a strong,” he said. “But obviously the Saudis have a pretty checkered past in terms of human rights.”
That said, the issue isn’t just what to do about Saudi Arabian involvement. Sen. Johnson told Dakich that the situation surrounding the PGA/LIV merger and what led up to it isn’t a simple one. This makes holding a hearing — or series of hearings — important.
“So this is a really complex situation. I just want to hear from everybody. And I think that’s the role Congress can play. We’re going to have a hearing. We might have a series of hearings. and I just want to give everybody a very fair chance.
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