LIV golfer Greg Norman on Jamal Khashoggi’s murder: “We all made mistakes”

The February Phil Mickelson Saudi Arabia had a lot to learn from the hoops: the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi government was bad; If you’re taking their money, don’t talk about the bad things a country does; And make sure you know what “on record” means. Greg Norman, former pro and CEO of the Saudi-funded LIV Golf League, did not learn from Mickelson’s mistake.

On Wednesday, Norman held a press conference in London to promote the first event of LIV Golf and he again showed why the meaning of LIV Golf always brings up a follow-up question. When asked about Khashoggi’s murder, Norman said, “We all made mistakes and you just want to learn from those mistakes and how you can correct them in the future.” Hell, who hasn’t lured a prominent journalist to the Consulate on false pretenses to tear them to pieces?

Although Mickelson wasted his years talking about who finances LIV golf, Norman didn’t take it as a sign that he was better prepared for the interview. Norman was asked about recent reports that the Saudi government had executed 81 people in one day, and he said there was no reason to stay in the news. “I’m not going to fall into the trap of whatever happens in someone else’s world,” he said. “I heard about it and just moved on.” Asked about Saudi Arabia’s strict anti-LGBTQ laws, he said: “I’m not sure if I have any gay friends, to be honest with you.”

In an interview with Sky Sports, Norman was asked if he understood the concerns of golf fans about LIV Golf’s patronage of “a brutal, murderous dictatorship.” “100 percent,” Norman said. “It’s reprehensible, what happened to Khashoggi, isn’t it?” Own it up. Talk about it. But if you go back to Saudi Arabia, they are bringing a cultural change inside to change that. They don’t want that stigma there. ” Yes, and that’s why they’re financing your glorious golf tournament!

Following Norman’s catastrophic interview, LIV Golf issued a statement that was not entirely apologetic:

The statement said that the killing of Jamal Khashoggi was reprehensible. “Everyone, including Greg, agrees, as he has said on many occasions before. Greg also knows that golf can be a force for good in the world and help move toward positive change. That’s why he’s so excited about LIV and that’s what he said.”

And what was Norman supposed to announce about the upcoming tournament? Several players requested release for the June LIV Golf Tournament in England, but the PGA Tour rejected those requests, reiterating that it would discipline any player participating in the LIV Golf event.

It may seem like the LIV Golf Tour has a fairly serious PR problem, but a respected Titan of sports journalism thinks it will help us rearrange our understanding. Rick Riley has a new book called So help me golf. Today he published a quote, where he says Mickelson is cooler and better than Tiger Woods, because Mickelson occasionally lets him hang out at his house.

“Is that what we’re doing?” Riley writes. “Now hating Phil and worshiping the tiger? Because Phil said something silly that he now regrets for that golf tour? Riley edited that line and added the passage below the quote: “Phil, meanwhile, up to this Saudi thing, was largely free of scandal. But did he kill anyone? What he said was foolish and he regretted it. Dumb is wrong. But did he give anyone a roof over his head? ” Great point, Rick.

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