Greg Norman attacks PGA Tour chief Jay Monahan in open letter
Greg Norman has fired the latest shots in golf’s open warfare, accusing Jay Monahan of “going too far, being unfair and likely violating the law”.
The former world No 1 made the accusations in an open letter to Monahan, the PGA Tour’s commissioner.
It follows Monahan warning PGA Tour players at a meeting in Florida earlier this week that they would face fans if they signed up for a Saudi-backed Super League being fronted by Norman in his role as CEO of LIV Golf.
“Surely you jest. And surely, your lawyers at the PGA Tour must be holding their breath,” wrote Norman in his opening gambit.
“As has been widely reported, you have threatened the players on the PGA Tour, all of whom are independent contractors, with lifetime bans if they decide to play golf in a league sponsored by anyone other than the Tour.
“For decades, I have fought for the rights of players to enjoy a career in which they are rewarded fully and properly for their efforts. They are one-in-a-million athletes.
“Yet for decades, the Tour has put its own financial ambitions ahead of the players, and every player on the tour knows it.
“The Tour is the Players Tour not your administration’s Tour. Why do you call the crown jewel in all tournaments outside the Majors “The Players Championship” and not “The Administration’s Championship?”
“But when you try to bluff and intimidate players by bullying and threatening them, you are guilty of going too far, being unfair, and you likely are in violation of the law.
“Simply put, you can’t ban players from playing golf. Players have the right and the freedom to play where we like.
“I know for a fact that many PGA players were and still are interested in playing for a new league, in addition to playing for the Tour. What is wrong with that?
“What is wrong with allowing players to make their own decisions about where to play and how often to play? What is so wrong with player choice? Why do you feel so threatened that you would resort to such a desperate, unwise, and unenforceable threat?”
Norman made reference in his letter to a recent article by the former chief lawyer to the Federal Trade Commission that stated a “lifetime ban is never going to happen”.
The Australian then went on to say: “Competition in all aspects of life, sport, and business is healthy and the players deserve to be well compensated, which is why so many players have expressed an interest in playing in a new league.
But when you threaten to end players’ careers and when you engage in unfair labor practices with your web of player restrictions, you demonstrate exactly why players are open minded about joining a league that treats players well, respects them, and compensates them according to their true worth.
“Commissioner – this is just the beginning. It certainly is not the end.”
All the game’s top players, led by world No 1 Jon Rahm, Open champion Colln Morikawa and Olympic gold medallist, have declared ‘fealty’ to the PGA Tour.
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