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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Law

LIV Goes on Offensive During Antitrust Hearing

  • After recent legal setbacks, LIV attorney says evidence shows PGA Tour flew 9/11 protesters to Portland.
  • Judge presiding over the case moved case schedule back, delaying the January 2024 trial date.
9/11 Justice
Chris Pedota-USA TODAY NETWORK

LIV Golf hasn’t had the best run with its legal arguments, but its lead lawyer remained on the offensive in an attempt to halt the skid. 

Attorney John Quinn alleged at Friday’s hearing as part of the LIV Golf-PGA Tour antitrust case that the PGA Tour played a significant role in backing protests ahead of LIV’s U.S. debut last year. 

“We’ve learned that the [PGA] Tour has orchestrated a grassroots campaign against LIV Golf,” Quinn said. “They chartered a private jet to fly protesters — including, shockingly, members of [9/11 Justice] and victims of 9/11  — to conduct these protests in effect to actually create this Saudi taint.”

Front Office Sports was the first outlet to delve into the background of 9/11 Justice, which was founded days before LIV played in Portland last July. The group also spent more than $200,000 on ads attacking LIV’s Saudi ties.

LIV is almost entirely funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and the PGA Tour has pushed for months to subpoena PIF for documents and to depose fund governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan. 

Before Friday’s hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman upheld a ruling that both PIF and Al-Rumayyan are subject to discovery in the case. PIF is appealing that decision. 

That appeal and other issues in the case led Freeman to push back the case schedule. The trial, originally slated to begin in January, won’t start until later in 2024, although Freeman did not set a new trial date. 

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