Former World No. 1 Greg Norman has come under fire after he told reporters “we all made a mistake” while discussing Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and the murder of a Washington Post journalist.
Norman was asked about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and the 2018 assassination of Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey at a news conference to discuss the upcoming launch of a Saudi-backed LIV golf tour.
The U.S. government has claimed responsibility for the assassination of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Khashoggi, a charge bin Salman denies, although he says he has taken “full responsibility” as the country’s leader, “since it was carried out by individuals working for the Saudi government.” .
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When asked about Khashoggi’s murder, Norman replied: “Everyone has ownership, doesn’t he? It has been said that what I have read is going on in what you have reported. Take ownership, whatever it is.”
“Look, we’ve all made mistakes and you just want to learn from those mistakes and how you can correct them.”
New York Post writer Brian Walker says the remarks show that Norman is “becoming more and more reprehensible in the days to come” when golfwick columnist Emon Lynch adds, “when you thought there could be no more contempt for Greg Norman’s killers.”
Golf Digest reports that when Norman was asked about Saudi Arabia’s discrimination against the LGBTQ community, he replied, “I’m not sure if I have any gay friends to be honest with you.”
Norman says any player who joins the LIV tour will not be barred from talking about human rights issues.
“Every player deserves their opinion and their voice,” he said.
“This whole thing about Saudi Arabia and Khashoggi and human rights, talk about it, but also talk about what the country is doing well to change its culture.
“There aren’t many countries that can stand up and be proud of it. They can’t be proud of their past – there are many countries in this world that have a cross to carry – but they are caring for the younger generation.”
Norman’s comments a day after the PGA Tour was announced at the first event of the Ivy Tour, to be held near London next month, would refuse to release any of his players to compete.
The move could potentially set the stage for a strong PGA Tour with many players on the verge of clashing with the court move.
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