Patrick Reed filed a lawsuit against the Golf Channel and commentator Brandel Chamblee on Tuesday, claiming that the two “conspired” with the PGA Tour to defame him.
Reed, who filed his suit in U.S. District Court on Tuesday, is seeking more than $750 million in damages. He is being represented by Larry Klayman, a controversial former prosecutor who has filed a number of notable failed lawsuits in the past.
Reed won nine times on the PGA Tour in his career, including at the Masters in 2018. He’s also played on three Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams, and competed in the Olympics twice.
The 32-year-old is one of the bigger names in the sport who has left the Tour for the LIV Golf Invitational Series.
Reed’s claims against the Golf Channel, Chamblee
Reed is claiming in his lawsuit that Chamblee and the Golf Channel have been conspiring with the Tour and commissioner Jay Monahan to “engage in a pattern and practice of defaming” him with malice since he was 23 years old. The goal, he said, was to “destroy [Reed’s] reputation, create hate, and a hostile work environment for him, and with the intention to discredit his name and accomplishments,” according to The Athletic’s Brendan Quinn.
Chamblee has criticized Reed’s move to LIV Golf, however he’s far from alone in doing so. Chamblee has also been critical of Reed’s rule violations or near-rule violations — something he has been accused of doing since his college days at Georgia.
“It is well-known on tour that Mr. Reed has been abused and endured more than any other golfer from fans or spectators who have been allowed to scream obscenities only to be glorified by NBC's Golf Channel for doing so, because it gets Defendants Chamblee and Golf Channel "clicks", viewership, ratings and increased revenue,” the lawsuit said, via CBS Sports’ Kyle Porter. “For Defendants it does not matter how badly they destroy someone's name and life, so long as they rake in more dollars and profit.”
In the lawsuit, Reed actually listed personal attacks he said he’s heard while golfing on Tour.
If you go to a LIV Golf event (or an Asian Tour event, apparently) and you don't know what to yell at Patrick Reed during his backswing, here is a one-stop shop of things that will really piss him off. pic.twitter.com/tb29rtzOY2
— Len Hochberg ⛳ (@LenHochberg) August 16, 2022
Reed reportedly sent Chamblee a cease and desist order in 2019. Reed claims in the lawsuit that he has suffered from a hostile work environment on the Tour, and that he’s lost “multi-million dollar sponsorship deals” as a result.
Reed is also claiming that he was “constructively terminated” from the PGA Tour when he left for LIV Golf — though he actually resigned when doing so.
Reed’s lawsuit is the latest to come from a LIV Golf member. A group of them, led by Phil Mickelson, filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour earlier this month — part of which was used to try and force the Tour to allow players to compete in the FedExCup Playoffs. A judge denied that request just before last week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship.