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Nine-time PGA Tour winner Patrick Reed says he faced an outpouring of criticism while playing on the Tour, which led to a “hostile work environment”, led by the longtime commentator Brandel Chamblee and Golf Channel, according to a A $750 million libel lawsuit filed earlier this week.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Texas, sets out Reed’s complaint against Chamblee and Golf Channel in which he accuses both parties of “acting in concert with and as agents on behalf of” the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and their commissioners to defame Reed and with recent emphasis on his decision to play on the LIV Golf circuit.
“It is well known on tour that Mr. Reed was abused and endured more than any other golfer by fans or spectators who were allowed to shout obscenities to be glorified by the NBC Golf Channel for doing so. , because the Chamblee Defendants and Golf Channel’s “clicks,” viewership, ratings, and increased revenue For the Defendants, it doesn’t matter how badly they destroy someone’s name and life. one, as long as they reap more dollars and profits,” the lawsuit reads.
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Reed’s lawsuit includes examples of several of the taunts, including personal attacks on his family and references to the cheating he allegedly suffered from fans, claiming they “harmed his performance at tournaments and of events”.
“You are a fucking sucker!” “beating the cheater is a–“, “You cheat in college and on tour and you’re a piece of s—!” and “You piece of s—” were just a few slurs listed in the document.
“This is just a sampling of what defendants have maliciously and intentionally caused and aided with actual malice. These personal attacks occur frequently while Mr. Reed is actively preparing to make his golf shot, or during the golf stroke, much less afterwards as he walks to his next golf stroke, as well as lining up and putting putts on the green, putts that require a high degree of concentration,” asserted the court case.
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The main focus of the lawsuit claims that Chamblee and Golf Channel acted as “agents” of the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour to defame and smear those associated with LIV Golf “in an attempt to maintain their monopolistic hold over professional golf”.
The lawsuit cites several comments by Chamblee commenting on the involvement of Reed and others in the Saudi-backed circuit and its relationship to “blood money”, “sport washing” and aligning itself “with a tyrannical murderous leader”.
However, the defamation case alleges that these are false and harmful statements, comparing the situation to that of LeBron James and the NBA regarding his ties to the Chinese government.
“It would be like saying that LeBron James has aligned himself with a ‘tyrannical and murderous leader’ because he plays in the National Basketball Association (‘NBA’) which has complex ties to the People’s Republic of China, whose government is accused of a current and ongoing genocide against the Uyghur Muslim people.”
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The lawsuit follows a California federal judge’s decision that refused a temporary restraining order filed by three former PGA Tour players seeking an injunction to participate in the FedEx Cup playoffs last week. The Tour argued that lifting golfers’ suspensions and allowing them to play would “change the status quo” for the PGA Tour and “give them a fabulous platform” to promote the LIV tour while attending a PGA event.
This stemmed from an antitrust lawsuit filed earlier this month by Phil Mickelson and nine other LIV golfers who claimed the indefinite suspensions from the PGA Tour were intended to harm their careers.