LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman visits Capitol Hill to discuss league plans with lawmakers
LIV Golf CEO and Commissioner Greg Norman visited Capitol Hill on Monday in an effort to discuss with lawmakers the future plans and initiatives of the controversial new golfing league backed by the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia.
Politico first reported on Monday that Norman was visiting with lawmakers.
LIV Golf, publicly launched last year, has received criticism by many for its ties with Saudi Arabia, given the kingdom’s human rights record.
“LIV Golf is coming to the Hill this week to meet with lawmakers from both parties,” LIV Golf spokesperson Jonathan Grella told sports media outlet ESPN in a statement.
LIV has been hugely controversial in the world of golf, as the organization has become involved in an increasingly bitter fight with the U.S.-based PGA Tour over top players.
Grella accused the PGA Tour of making attempts to “stifle” LIV’s progress.
“Given the PGA Tour’s attempts to stifle our progress in reimagining the game, we think it’s imperative to educate members on LIV’s business model and counter the Tour’s anti-competitive efforts,” Grella added.
The Hill has reached out to LIV Golf for comment and more information.
Top golfers Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau have left the PGA Tour for LIV Golf.
In response to the high-profile defections, the PGA Tour has fined or banned golfers who joined the Saudi-backed golfing league.
In July, the Justice Department also launched an investigation into the PGA Tour, founded in 1929, over allegations of possible anticompetitive behavior, with golfers’ agents first receiving an inquiry from the Justice Department’s antitrust division about the tour’s bylaws governing their players’ participation in other golfing associations and leagues.
LIV also filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour last month, alleging that the PGA Tour improperly suspended players who defected to the new Saudi-backed league and pressured its sponsors and broadcast partners to not work with LIV Golf, according to ESPN.
In an interview with USA Today published in July, the 67-year-old Norman said that the controversy surrounding LIV Golf hasn’t been fair at all.