Phil Mickelson was raked over the coals for comments he made about potentially joining the Saudi Arabian-backed Super Golf League. He apologized on Tuesday but the apology felt hollow and likely only made the situation worse.
For context, here is the quote that got Mickelson in trouble:
They’re scary motherf--kers to get involved with," he said. "We know they killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates."
Those comments were made to long-time golf writer Alan Shipnuck for a biography he's working on.
And here is the six-time major winner's apology.
Mickelson uses the excuse that the comments were made off-the-record, a fact that Shipnuck forcefully denies. The fact that Mickelson even brought up the possibility is pretty shameless. He said the words and he admits it.
When Mickelson falls back on the excuse that he's trying to fix the PGA and the game of golf, that's where you know this is going south. Essentially he's saying "I'm willing to get into bed with some of the worst people on earth to earn some concessions from a sports league." And he feels completely justified in doing so.
That's some insanely warped thinking.
Mickelson's apology feels like someone saying, "I'm sorry I said these things but I'm also right." Which only makes him look worse.
No Laying Up laid it out perfectly:
Yeah, that about sums it up.