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The PGA Tour filed a motion asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought against them by longtime golf instructor and former SiriusXM Radio host Hank Haney on Friday, which stemmed from his racist and sexist comments about the LPGA last year.
Haney’s lawsuit claims that the PGA Tour has “long attempted to disrupt and interfere in Haney’s business,” and that his firing from SiriusXM Radio cost him “millions of dollars” in advertising revenue.
The lawsuit, the PGA Tour said, failed to prove that they “unjustifiably interfered with Plaintiffs' business and/or contractual relationship with Sirius XM.” The Tour also said that Haney’s legal team failed to prove the decision to fire him was “based on anything other than [the radio network's] own review of Haney's racist, xenophobic, and sexist comments about the LPGA and its players,” according to ESPN.
“In sum, Plaintiffs refuse to take ownership of Haney's own ignorant and ill-advised comments and the resulting ramifications therefrom and instead have filed this suit, which is nothing more than an improper fishing expedition to try to deflect blame elsewhere,” lawyers for the PGA Tour wrote in a motion to dismiss, via ESPN. “Accordingly, this lawsuit should be dismissed with prejudice.”
Haney was suspended from his SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio show in May after making racist and sexist comments about the LPGA, and then doubled down on his comments just days later before finally apologizing.
“I’m going to predict a Korean [to win the U.S. Women’s Open],” Haney said on the show while talking with fellow instructor Steve Johnson.
“That’s going to be my prediction. I could name you like six players on the LPGA tour. No, maybe I couldn’t. Ah, we’ll, I’d go with Lee.
“If I didn’t have to name a first name, I’d get a bunch of them right.”
Several notable people in the golf world were quick to slam him for his comments, including Michelle Wie and Tiger Woods, who he used to work with.
Haney was eventually fired from the radio show, and filed his lawsuit against the Tour in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in December, alleging “tortious interference with contract and tortious interference with business relations,” via ESPN.
“Plaintiffs make several statements allegedly documenting PGA Tour’s ‘vendetta’ against Haney originating in 2012,” the Tour's lawyers wrote in their motion, via Golf Digest. “Yet, if PGA Tour actually possessed this vendetta as Plaintiffs allege, then it seems inapposite that PGA Tour would not have protested initially and insisted SiriusXM refuse to air his program on PGA Tour Radio when SiriusXM entered into a multi-year contract in 2017 with Haney allowing him to broadcast on PGA Tour’s branded radio channel.
“Accordingly, not only do Plaintiffs not have any support for this unsubstantiated allegation, but the facts belie such an assertion."
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