This isn't strictly Kansas City sports, but certainly serves a purpose in describing just how much money controls the business of sports. It controls everything in a capitalist society, but here is a prime example of that concept at work, and an example I want to go over today. The PGA Tour and LIV Golf agreed today to merge together following discussions regarding antitrust lawsuits and overall competition. The merger is said to signify a "new unity" in the professional golf world in order to stop legal and ethical complications surrounding the sport right now.
If you don't know the complete story, let me break it down for you as concisely as I can. LIV Golf is a Saudi Arabian-backed professional golf tour that came into popularity after the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund put tens of BILLIONS of dollars behind starting this new league. It was said to provide a more global audience to the game of golf, provide pro players better compensation than what they would get on the PGA Tour, and provide competition to the PGA, who had commandeered the sport for years. LIV took on some of the PGA's best players very soon after they went public, including Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, and Phil Mickelson. Bans and threats of lawsuit came flying in from both the PGA and LIV for violating antitrust law and stealing players from their respective leagues. Dirty laundry was thrown around, including 9/11 references directed at the Saudi-backed league, accusations of human rights abuses, blackmail of those that chose to go to LIV or stay with PGA, and a whole host of other things I will refrain from getting into in fear of making this article too long.
Yet, today, it's as if all that fighting and bickering never even happened. It's as if a gust of wind, a wind they call change (i.e. throwing money at the problem) came in and said "Can't we all just get along?" And so it was. The merger deal has happened, and the golf world is at peace. Money once again trumps morality and dignity, and the game of golf "got better."
Look, I'll be candid here (More candid than I have been throughout this article at least) PGA, if their intent was to be this ideal American brand that upheld the morality and integrity of all things anti-terrorism, trying to be the people's league, comically sold out, and not because they "gave into terrorists" but because all this talk about how the PGA is a strong league because they didn't give into Saudi money and wouldn't allow their league to be compromised was completely thrown back in their face. I thought it was hilarious in the first place that there was so much hypocrisy being thrown around and that the PGA thought they had the moral high horse here, because they really don't. Nobody does here, players were losing out because of what the PGA was trying to do by keeping them in an abusive, conservative, and exclusive relationship (Not to mention they straight up lied through their teeth) and LIV is, in fact, backed by alleged human rights abusers (Not the first time a sports league has had that by the way)
In the end, money always wins and it won here today, whether we like it or not. I think the globalization of golf at least will be good for the game, but it is still a rich man's game and money doesn't care about morality. LIV is still backed by an authority that is questionable at best in regard to their track record of human rights and activities against the western world, and if the PGA wants to work with them instead of having some integrity left, so be it. If the PGA truly wants to see morality and integrity flow into their sport, LIV and the people that run it aren't necessarily the entire problem though. The exclusive and expensive nature of today's golfing world is the majority of it. Promote inclusivity, build a player and fanbase, promote honest people that have the game's best interests at heart to run things, and grow the game, that is how you keep your integrity and morality, not by trying to scapegoat the worst attack on American soil only to have you bend the knee to the dollar in the end. Frankly, that right there is the opposite, and the PGA was made to look like the fool today.
Burn Notice: 10/10 Big Saudi heat wave