Legal battles around LIV Golf intensify as a report on golfer contracts shows restrictions, requirements that come with big paydays

Fans take photos next to the LIV Golf logo.

Fans take photos next to the LIV Golf logo.Tyler Lauletta / Insider

  • A Wall Street Journal report revealed unusual requirements of LIV golfers.

  • Contracts have yet to be made public, but could be unsealed this week in a federal court case.

  • Meanwhile, Patrick Reed has filed a defamation lawsuit against Brandel Chamblee and the Golf Channel.

Legal battles around LIV Golf are intensifying as a new report on player contracts revealed unique requirements that players must comply with to get their massive payouts.

The golfer contracts have yet to be publicly revealed, adding to the mystique of the new Saudi-backed golf startup, the Wall Street Journal reported.

But, according to the Journal, a federal judge could motion to unseal many of the contracts as a part of a lawsuit in which three players unsuccessfully sought a restraining order to allow them to play in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, even though they had been suspended from the PGA Tour.

The Wall Street Journal report, which reviewed a sample LIV golfer contract, revealed “unusual provisions,” such as requiring LIV players to wear LIV apparel even when playing in non-LIV events. This issue was raised during last week’s hearing regarding the temporary restraining order that LIV athletes ultimately failed to acquire. During the hearing, LIV lawyers stated that players would not be wearing LIV apparel if they were given the chance to play in the PGA Tour’s postseason.

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LIV contracts also indicate that players can’t give interviews that aren’t approved and are required to help recruit other players to the league, the WSJ reported.

In addition to the massive signing bonuses and playing purses at LIV events, LIV players are to be awarded an additional $1 million in prize money if they win any of golf’s four majors, according to the sample contract reviewed by the Journal.

Last week’s hearing, and Wednesday’s WSJ report, aren’t the only legal matters around LIV getting in the news, as on Tuesday, LIV golfer Patrick Reed filed a defamation lawsuit against player-turned-commentator Brandel Chamblee and the Golf Channel.

In the suit, Reed alleged that Chamblee “actively target[ed] [Reed] to destroy his reputation, create hate, and a hostile work environment for him.” Reed is seeking $750 million in damages.

Golf fans on Twitter pointed out that Reed’s lawyer in the case, Larry Klayman, had previously held quite a different stance towards LIV.

Both Reed’s case and the LIV players’ larger antitrust case against the PGA Tour will take some time to play out, with the latter potentially taking years to settle, several law experts told Insider.

In the meanwhile, the court’s ruling against the temporary restraining order appears to indicate that players who made the jump to LIV won’t be jumping back any time soon.

Read the original article on Insiders

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