Mickelson’s Saudi Controversy, U.S. Soccer Settles Pay Fight


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On the latest Sporticast episode, hosts Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams discuss some of the biggest sports business stories of the week, including the latest in the fallout from Phil Mickelson’s comments about Saudi Arabia.

The golf star is being courted to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Investments, and told a journalist that the Saudis have a “horrible record on human rights,” but that he considered the upstart venture a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to pressure the PGA Tour into reform. The backlash was swift, and both KPMG and Amstel Light have ended their relationships with Mickelson.

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The controversy comes amid a wider debate with the PGA Tour about LIV. The tour has said that golfers who join the Saudi venture may not be allowed to play in future PGA Tour events, and many of the sport’s younger stars—including Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson—have publicly pledged their allegiance to the PGA.

The hosts also talk about U.S. Soccer’s $24 million settlement with the women’s national team, which should end a six-year legal battle over compensation. They close with a discussion about sports betting, which is booming in the U.S. while the most prominent public operators see massive stock dips.

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