Greg Norman has written to the PGA Tour, accusing them of bullying and warning the Super Golf League proposal is still alive and well.
Norman is the CEO of LIV Golf Investments, the Saudi-funded group looking to lure the top talent in the world to a breakaway tour.
Their plans hit a significant bump at last week's Genesis Invitational, when Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau distanced themselves from Saudi approaches, via statements from the PGA Tour.
Rory McIlroy claimed the Super Golf League was "dead in the water", with so many luminaries publicly disavowing the venture.
Last year, the PGA Tour told its members they would not be allowed to compete for Norman's Saudi-backed tour.
But the two-time Open champion has accused PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan of "bullying" and "intimidating" players in an effort to keep them.
Norman even goes so far as to accuse Monahan of breaking the law.
"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," said Norman, "What is wrong with that?
"What is wrong with allowing players to make their own decisions about where to play and hoof 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?"
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Greg Norman / LIV Golf Investments letter:
Dear Commissioner Monahan:
Surely you jest. And surely, your lawyers at the PGA Tour must be holding their breath.
As has been widely reported, you have threatened the players on the PGA Tour, all of whom are independent contractors, with lifetime bans it 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 then, 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 hoof 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?
I noticed a recent article by the former chief lawyer to the Federal Trade Commission that stated:
"Let's be clear: A lifetime ban is never going to happen. PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan is no doubt being advised by high-priced lawyers who—if they are worth even a fraction of their lofty rates—have surely advised him of the legal consequences that will blow up in the PGA Tour's face if it imposes lifetime bans on independent contractors who choose to associate with a competitor.
"Most notably, imposing a lifetime ban on players would trigger a slam-dunk antitrust lawsuit by Norman's upstart league, the players, or even federal antitrust enforcers who have made it a priority to protect workers' ability to ply their trade for whomever they please without interference from corporate giants."
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 and 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. Sincerely,
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