Golf champion Phil Mickelson and 10 other players in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series have filed an antitrust lawsuit against rival PGA Tour.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Francisco on Wednesday by Mickelson along with Bryson DeChambeau, Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford, Matt Jones, Ian Poulter, Abraham Ancer, Carlos Ortiz, Pat Perez, Jason Kokrak and Peter Uihlein .
The lawsuit comes shortly after the PGA Tour suspended players in June in retaliation for participating in a new Saudi-backed tour. The allure of the LIV Series? Every Tournaments offers $25 million in bonuses, with $20 million going directly to individual players.
Last weeks LIV Series Tournament was held at former President Donald Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, NJ Earlier, the PGA announced that it would no longer be hosting the 2022 PGA Championship there, in response to the January 6 riots. .
The plaintiffs, in the lawsuit, allege that the PGA is using its immense power against the players out of fear of competition, citing “the ability to force players to abide by restrictive terms that compel them not to be competed in competitive events and the ability to prevent compensation to players below the level of competition. “
The golfers went as far as to accuse the PGA’s actions of damaging their careers.
“The illegal strategy both harms players and successfully threatens the promising launch of LIV Golf,” the players said in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit specifically cites the PGA’s two-year suspension of Mickelson, who had 45 PGA Tour wins.
“Mickelson’s two-year unlawful suspension from the PGA Tour has caused irreparable professional harm as well as financial and commercial harm to Mickelson,” the plaintiffs wrote.
The Washington Post get one Remember board sent to their remaining players by the PGA on Wednesday after the lawsuit was filed.
“Essentially, these suspended players – now employees of the Saudi Golf Federation – have left the TOUR and now want to return,” it said. “With the Saudi Arabia Golf Federation temporarily shutting down, they are trying to use lawyers to force them to compete with our members in good standing.”
The LIV line has been controversial since its inception. Critics have pointed to Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses and accused the players on their tour of prioritizing money over principles.
Mickelson previously shared his own opinion about the Middle Eastern country.
“They are scary moms – kers get involved,” he told author Alan Shipnuck, who is writing a biography of Mickelson.
However, the Justice Department is still investigating whether the PGA violated antitrust laws by disciplining players who participated in rival tournaments.
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