HomeSportsLIV Golf's Greg Norman Faces Backlash From GOP Over Saudi Tires

LIV Golf’s Greg Norman Faces Backlash From GOP Over Saudi Tires

Greg Norman, the chairman and CEO of LIV Golf, received support from some members of the Republican House because of support from Saudi Arabia when he presented his competition and concerns about competition problems to members of Congress.

Criticism came when he met Wednesday with the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in the House.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) at the meeting pressed Norman on his league’s Saudi tires and why it hasn’t registered as a foreign agent. He has previously called on the Justice Department to investigate whether LIV Golf has violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act by failing to register its ties to the Saudi Arabian government.

“Don’t come in here and don’t act like you’re doing something great while pimping a billion dollars in Saudi Arabian money and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the United States,” Roy told reporters after the meeting. He said Norman’s efforts on Capitol Hill are “PR for Saudi Arabia — it’s PR for LIV Golf.”

LIV Golf started this year as a participant in the PGA Tour, and Norman came to the Capitol to chat with members about what he believes are the PGA’s anti-competitive tactics. In July, the Justice Department launched an investigation into the PGA Tour over allegations of potentially anti-competitive behavior.

Before the end of Norman’s visit to the group, Representative Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) left the meeting saying he couldn’t quite understand what Norman was saying because of his Australian accent and that it was all “essentially propaganda.” and rejected issues Norman raised about anticompetitive behavior.

“A bunch of rich guys [are] I’m not going to play golf anywhere — it doesn’t bother me one bit,” Burchett said. “The federal government needs to stay out of that and just let these country clubbers play their own game.”

Burchett also knocked LIV Golf’s Saudi ties.

“It shouldn’t take up our time. [We’re a] conservative organization, and we should be concerned with what we’re dealing with in our country, not with — concerned about a bunch of Saudis, a bunch of billionaire oil people, that we’re dealing with,” Burchett said.

Norman told reporters after the meeting that there was nothing specific in terms of legislation he was looking for from lawmakers, but that he just wanted to “tell them both sides of the story so they would understand what LIV is about”.

He said members were “very positive” in their response to his message and that it was “great to have an open debate” with Roy in the meeting.

Norman brushed aside concerns about registering as a foreign agent. “We are a commercial enterprise. So we’re just here to grow the game of golf,” he said.

And Norman claimed he hasn’t had to deal with lawmakers giving him a hard time over LIV. “Not one person since becoming CEO has told me this is a bad idea,” he said.

LIV Golf has already gotten a hug from some on the right. In June, former President Trump, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), and Fox News host Tucker Carlson attended an LIV golf tournament at Trump’s Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said Norman had asked to speak to the group and there was a “lively discussion,” adding that golf stars Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus are also welcome to attend. come and talk to the group about the PGA.

“Honestly, I’m not a golfer. I don’t have time to play golf,” Banks said. “It’s a great American sport and Greg Norman is a legend. So we were happy with him.”

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