Greg Norman, the titular head of the Saudi-backed LIV golf sequence, has defended the sport after being extensively criticized by the game’s greatest names.
Golfers akin to Norman, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson who selected to affix the breakaway sequence have been criticized for human rights abuses by the Saudi regime. Within the U.S., famed sports activities commentator Bob Costas gave the LIV sequence a miserable assessment. “That is Saudi blood cash,” he mentioned final week. “We all know what we have to know in regards to the royal household and all the things they do. It is not simply [Jamal] Khashoggi, it is not simply the continuing oppression of girls and gays who, in accordance with US and UK intelligence, are straight or not directly associated to 9/11. “
The PGA Tour has banned golfers from the LIV sequence. Talking on Fox Information on Saturday, Norman mentioned the choice was hypocritical given the tour’s personal ties to Saudi Arabia.
“Look, in the event that they wish to have a look at it from a prism, then why does the PGA Tour have 23 sponsors doing greater than $4 billion price of enterprise with Saudi Arabia on the PGA Tour? Why can a sponsor? Why can… there’s one Saudi sponsors, Saudi Aramco, the biggest girls’s golf sponsor on the planet? Why is it okay for them? Why aren’t these gamers? Will probably be [PGA Tour commissioner] Jay Monahan going to each CEO of 23 firms investing in Saudi Arabia and suspending and banning them? … the hypocrisy of all this, too loud. Deafening. “
Rory McIlroy, who has all the time been dismissive of the LIV sequence, just lately took a shot at Norman, saying he had taken particular pleasure in overtaking the Australian for the PGA Tour title. Nevertheless, Norman mentioned Golf has been completely happy to cope with Saudi Arabia for years.
“The European PGA Tour… [has] The Saudi Worldwide, a golf championship that has been round since 2019,” Norman mentioned. “Throughout that Saudi Worldwide, some PGA Tour gamers got the suitable and immunity to play there. So to me, if golf is nice for the world, then golf is nice for Saudi Arabia, and also you’re seeing that development internally; it is fairly spectacular. “
This month, Mickelson was compelled to defend himself after the households of 9/11 victims attacked his determination to affix the breakaway coalition. Norman insists that the league might be good for golf.
“I noticed the worth and what golf might deliver to the world,” he mentioned. “So from there I mentioned: ‘Yeah, this can be a nice platform, it is a enterprise operation.’ We’re concerned for a cause: to make and develop golf at a profitable degree on behalf of gamers — they’re impartial Contractors. Give them the chance to broaden their wealth as they select. However on the identical time, perhaps our platform is healthier as a result of it permits them to spend extra time with their households, like Charl Schwartzel and his spouse and kids Similar. Their platform offers them a chance, it is an possibility.”
After opening in London, the sequence moved to the USA, with video games in Portland and Bedminster. Bedminster Stadium, owned by Donald Trump, is underneath investigation for his function within the January 6 assault on the US Capitol.