Leagues and Governing Bodies

Norman receives backlash for comments on Khashoggi murder

Greg Norman while fielding questions about the '18 murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi said, "We’ve all made mistakes"Getty Images

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman has become the "despicable epitome of unabashed greed," a man "apparently with neither soul nor conscience who just uttered one of the most reprehensible sentences ever heard in the world of sports," according to Christine Brennan of USA TODAY. Norman on Wednesday while fielding questions about the '18 murder and dismemberment of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi said, "We’ve all made mistakes." Brennan: "If we as a society have any sense of collective outrage left in us, Norman as a pitchman, figurehead and aging public figure should be finished." Any golfer who "still talks about playing in tournaments on the Saudi series" should be "ostracized and punished for their selfishness and arrogance" (USA TODAY, 5/13). In Melbourne, Greg Baum writes the "murder and cutting up of a journalist critic of a Saudi prince by agents of that prince, the same prince who is now funding your multi-billion dollar drive to gut world golf and feast on the entrails, is not a mistake." Addressing Norman, Baum writes, "That someone else’s world and its corpse-laden quagmire is your world now. You’re taking their money and doing their bidding. It’s not like there’s a Swiss bank account or a Cayman Islands holding company to obscure the trail. MBS’s public investment fund fully owns LIV, which fully owns you. You’re cleansing the bloodstains from that money. It’s called sportswashing. The Saudis practically invented it" (Melbourne AGE, 5/13).

MONEY FOR NOTHING: MORNING READ's Michael Rosenberg wrote "blood money is still money," and that has "always been the entire appeal of the Saudi Arabian government’s fledgling golf tour." Norman's comment regarding making mistakes was "about a murder." But this has "been the attitude of Norman, [Phil] Mickelson and their ilk all along." They "can’t defend Saudi Arabian atrocities," so they "try to act like the atrocities are not the point." They "want you to think it’s about golf." Rosenberg: "Three-putts are mistakes; Khashoggi’s murder was not." For most players who are considering it, the Saudi-backed tour is "a cash grab." There is "no greater cause here." Norman can "whine all he wants about how the PGA Tour is unfairly restricting 'independent contractors.'" Rosenberg: "If you want to buy the argument of a man who thinks he can explain away a murder as 'a mistake,' then go ahead" (, 5/12). CBSSN’s Jim Rome said, “Forgetting to charge your phone is a mistake. Murdering, killing and dismemberment are not mistakes. That is an all-time horrible take from an all-time horribly greedy person” (“The Jim Rome Show,” CBSSN, 5/12).

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