RPublic Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks (R-IN) said he would like to invite PGA golfers like Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus to meet with the Conservative Gathering to discuss the league’s disputes with LIV Golf after hearing from LIV CEO Greg Norman on Wednesday.
Norman was making an effort to meet with lawmakers on both sides of the fairway, as the Australian golfer attended the RSC lunch to answer members’ questions and advocate on behalf of the league, which has raised concerns of some about his ties to Saudi Arabia. The Arabian Peninsula.
As the PGA-LIV feud rages, with LIV advocates arguing that the PGA is trying to stifle competition and PGA supporters sounding the alarm about Saudi human rights abuses, the Indiana Republican said he would be interested in listening to both sides.
“Greg Norman is a legend, and it was great to have him at RSC. If Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus wanted to talk about PGA and their differences with LIV Golf, they are more than welcome,” Banks said.
“Our Republican Study Committee is a forum, and in my two years as chair we’ve had a number of lively discussions on a wide range of issues, and today was just another example of that,” he added.
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Norman’s appearance at the RSC lunch was met with mixed comments from members, with Representative Chip Roy stressing that those defending the LIV should register as foreign agents. The Texas Republican argued that former President Donald Trump’s support for the league should not affect the Republican Party.
“I think my position has been somewhat public, and I’ve repeated what I’ve already said publicly about the billion dollars coming from the Saudis. I just want to know why they weren’t registered as foreign agents under the law.” I mean, you know, President Trump said, ‘Hello! ‘That’s the best PR you can get for Saudi Arabia.'” A billion dollars, he said sitting in Bedminster, so I’d just like to know why they haven’t registered as foreign agents, and they should address that.”
LIV Golf has managed to lure a number of high-profile PGA players away from the tour and recently joined an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA after 17 of its players were suspended from participating in the June event.
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“I don’t care how Republicans feel about LIV Golf, I care how Republicans view the expanded promotion of the Saudi government in the United States, and we should have ongoing conversations about that,” he said. “There’s no point in being star-studded—these are golfers, they’re human.”
When asked if he thought those defending LIV should register as foreign agents, Norman told reporters, “We’re a business, so we’re just here to grow golf.”