The US government should not interfere in the affairs of sports organizations and athletes should stay away from politics. This is the opinion of the legendary South African golf star Gary Player.
The 87-year-old Player, who is one of only five players who can boast of having won all four majors, says the US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee investigation into the agreement made between the PGA and LIV Series. must be discontinued.
So is the committee’s investigation into the investments that the Saudi Arabian public investment fund (PIF) has in America.
Player, a nine-time major champion, is one of Saudi Arabia’s energy company Aramco’s ambassadors and previously also marketed Gulf Saudi.
“Politics is politics and sport is sport. There must be no interference. The partnership agreement between the PGA and LIV Series is the right thing for golf.”
Player says that in the future more money will be played and this will be the case forever. Before the deal, the future of the game was shrouded in uncertainty.
“The world will benefit if the PGA and LIV series work together going forward. So we have to manage to keep the government’s nose out of sports,” Player told CNBC last week.
The winner of more than 150 tournaments around the world was in New York on Monday where he played on Bedford Hill in Berenberg’s charity tournament.
Berenberg is one of Player’s longtime sponsors and has raised money for the fight against pancreatic cancer. Player’s wife Vivienne died of pancreatic cancer in 2021.
According to Player, sport is there to unite people.
He condemned the US women’s soccer team for their political stances and statements and also lashed out at athletes who refuse to stand when their country’s national anthems are played.
“Respect must always be shown,” says Player.
Regarding next week’s Ryder Cup showdown in Rome, Italy between Europe and America, Player says he is opposed to the captaincy choices that the two teams’ leaders have these days.
“The teams must be selected on merit according to guidelines that are clearly laid out. If you do it like that, then everyone knows how things work. There simply needs to be some form of incentive for those who perform.”
American captain Zach Johnson and his European counterpart Luke Donald both came under fire when they announced their captain picks for the biennial team tournament.
Johnson was slammed for failing to find room for Cameron Young and Lucas Glover, while Adrian Meronk’s followers breathed fire after the Pole was overlooked by Donald.