GW Hoops

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

5/12/2022 8:57 am  #1

The Convenient Tone Deafness of Greg Norman

I don’t know how many of you are into professional golf, but if anybody’s been following this story for the past several months, you may find this article interesting.

We can talk all day about why GW is considering changing its name from Colonials, or The completely inane ridiculous concept of GW changing its name away from its namesake, but this is the kind of thing that really angers me.

The entire proposed league is a cash grab funded by a country who time and again continues to violate basic human ethics and standards.

If Greg Norman is comfortable taking money from the Saudi government, he has to be able to acknowledge why it is seen as such a problem to everyone else, and not simply state that we all make mistakes.

Greg Norman on Jamal Khashoggi murder: 'We all make mistakes'


6/09/2022 10:51 am  #2

Re: The Convenient Tone Deafness of Greg Norman

Am surprised that it's taken about a month for Barry to receive a response to this, but what better day than the kickoff of the LIV golf league.  (LIV is the roman numeral for 54, the number of holes that will be played at each LIV event.  It does not hold any other meaning, such as "May I live?")

Barry's post is totally on the mark but I wanted to wait to see whether this monstrosity would ever see the light of day before commenting.  Now, we can say it has.    I have read a number of articles and have read a much higher number of reader comments on the subject.  It was surprising to me how many reader comments followed the logic of Lee Westwood who said he'd have to be stupid to turn down this kind of money.  Yes, the money is obscene with much of it guaranteed.  To illustrate, the winner of next week's US Open will win roughly the same amount of money as the second place finisher at each LIV event.  LIV winners will receive $4 million or almost twice this amount.  Not hard to understand the motivation behind doing this.

What is harder to understand is, as Barry put it, not only the convenient tone deafness of Greg Norman (the de facto commissioner of this thing) but of the golfers who followed.  Many have been hiding behind the controversial human rights issues exhibited by the Saudi government (who is funding this venture) by claiming anything from ignorance to blindness.  Those willing to speak publicly more or less have said that the atrocities are real, but they're going to do business with them anyway.

This is not the same as a China hosted Olympics.  Most Olympic athletes train practically their entire lives and have no alternative to fall back on, like these golfers have with the PGA, European tour, Korn Ferry tour, etc.

The PGA has already announced a ban of those players who are taking part.  Many preemptively withdrew their PGA membership while others, like Phil, may take this to court.  Three of the 4 majors are not controlled by the PGA and the 4th has said that bans will not apply to the PGA Championship.  So the majors are safe but those events that the players clamor are among their favorites and biggest honor to participate in, like the Ryder Cup and President's Cup, are not.

No matter how bans play out, what should not be restored are the negative legacies and reputations that the LIV players have bestowed upon themselves.  I will not perceive Phil, Dustin, and all of the others the same way ever again and I suspect that many self-respecting individuals feel the same way.  It's funny that when we hear the phrase "he or she sold out", we often think of a musical artist allowing his classic hit to be used in atelevision commercial, or a tremendous actor or actress taking a shitty role that will be widely seen and for which they will be extremely well-compensated.  These examples are nothing in comparison to what's going on in golf.  These LIV players will now be looked at by many as disgraces.  They have quite literally sold their reputations and legacies.  Leaves me to wonder how many are simply too stupid to realize this and how many just don't even care.


6/09/2022 11:09 am  #3

Re: The Convenient Tone Deafness of Greg Norman

Mayhem, thanks for the response.  I know that putting this thread into General Discussion means many folks will ignore it. 

Over the last month, I've followed this closely.  I am a bit of a geek for the business of sports.  Conference realignment, new leagues, the economics of sports...bring it on!  

I have another take on the LIV split.  This is incredibly reminiscent of the Indy Car/CART split in the mid-90s.  It killed interest in that form of auto racing, and NASCAR was there to fill the void.  The PGA Tour has to respond not only with sanctions (as it did this morning), but also with a hard look at what caused this split in the first place.  

Right now, the PGA Tour is no different than the World Series of Poker.  Everybody has to fend for themselves and cover their expenses.  While the greatest difference is that poker players have to pay for their buy-ins, PGA Tour players must also cover their Caddie salaries and earnings.  They need sponsors, backers, etc., in both cases.  

The greatest threat to the PGA Tour isn't that LIV has bought the services of this initial round of players with incredible guarantees (funded by Saudi Arabia), but rather that there is now great incentive for the top college players to skip the PGA and go straight to LIV. 

If I were the PGA, I would immediately get a sponsor to provide a pool of money to be used to provide travel and accommodation funds, as well as minimum payments for those players' caddies, for every player who earns their tour card, for a defined amount of time (say their entire first two years while they remain on the tour).  Without that guarantee, every player has incentive to take the easy money of LIV.  


     Thread Starter

6/09/2022 2:18 pm  #4

Re: The Convenient Tone Deafness of Greg Norman

BGF, am not sure that something the PGA did, did not do, provides or does not provide, truly caused this.  I think that Saudi Arabia showeed up with a boatload of money in an attempt to "sportswash" itself.  They knew that they had to offer substantially more money to wrestle players away from the PGA.   The PGA undoubtedly will make some change (like cover the income of regular caddies as an example) but this will not speak to why players defected in the first place.  Before the PGA embarks upon widespread major changes, I'd first consider the level of threat this new tour is.  There are no major television contracts to speak of.  Tournaments are a day shorter which means one day less of gate and merchandise revenue per event.  Now, do the Saudis need this additional revenue?  Can they afford these enormous purses, guarantees and bonuses forever?  I don't know.  I don't think anyone outside of the Saudi government truly knows.

One point I am in full agreement with is the potential longevity of this league poses a tremendous threat to the PGA with respect to the recruitment of young players.  The defectors can largely be divided into: a) older players who can't truly compete on the PGA tour week-to-week anymore; b) a few American players in their prime who raised eyebrows; c) foreign players who we are less familiar with, and d) young players.  Some players who are right out of college or who are trying to earn their card will undoubtedly be drawn to make huge bucks rather than grind.  In banning participants, the PGA was smart in saying that any LIV players who are not yet PGA players but would like to one day try to qualify for the PGA Tour are still welcome to attempt this..  



Board footera


Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum