Former golf commentator Hank Haney has filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour after he was fired following a remark that some called racist.
Haney was quickly suspended in May by the SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio Channel after joking that the next US Women’s Open would probably be a Korean player.
In his lawsuit, Haney, who was once golf great Tiger Woods’ coach, accuses the PGA Tour of having a “long-standing animus” toward him and that the organization sought to “settle an old score” due to critical comments about Woods that he made in his 2012 book, The Big Miss, according to USA Today.
Haney further alleges that the golf organization pressured its Superstores and other retailers to cancel orders of the book. The suit also claims that the Tour pushed the Golf Channel to cancel Haney’s TV show in 2013, and even cajoled sponsors into ending their business relationships with the former golf coach.
The filing adds that Haney lost “advertising revenues that would have amounted to millions of dollars over the life of the agreement.” And he says that he lost his contract with Callaway Golf because he lost his radio gig. The lawsuit insists that “Callaway would have renewed its collaboration agreement with Haney” if he’d have been permitted to continue his association with the company.
After his joke about Koreans in May, Haney quickly apologized for the comment saying that he regretted making the remark.
“In an effort to make a point about the overwhelming success of Korean players on the tour I offended people, and I am sorry,” Haney said. “I have the highest respect for the women who have worked so hard to reach the pinnacle of their sport, and I never meant to take away from their abilities and accomplishments.”
Still, the next week Haney seemed to double down on his talk about Korean players when Jeongeun Lee, a Korean player, ended up atop the leaderboard.
Haney is now hosting a podcast with iHeart Radio.
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