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Gary Player, Golf Legend, Advocates for Government Non-Interference in Sports

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Golf Legend Gary Player Advocates for Government Non-Interference in Sports

Legendary golfer Gary Player recently expressed his belief that government and sports should remain separate entities. Speaking at the Berenberg Invitational, Player emphasized the need for governments to stay out of sports, stating that sports bodies should focus on their respective disciplines while politicians should stick to politics. Despite his stance, Player has been involved in political activities within the sport, serving as an ambassador for Golf Saudi and currently representing the Saudi energy giant Aramco. Player also voiced his support for the proposed merger between Saudi-backed LIV Golf and the PGA Tour, despite the criticism and scrutiny it has faced. He believes that the merger will benefit players by providing them with more financial opportunities. However, the merger has attracted attention from regulators, lawmakers, and fellow golfers, with a U.S. Senate subcommittee recently holding a hearing on the matter. In addition to advocating for government non-interference in sports, Player expressed his opposition to athletes becoming overly political. He specifically mentioned athletes who choose not to stand for the national anthem and criticized the political views of the U.S. women's national soccer team. As a highly accomplished golfer, Player shared his perspective on the upcoming Ryder Cup and expressed his disagreement with the use of "captain's picks" in team selection. He believes that a system based on incentivization and the leading 12 events should determine the representation of the United States in the Ryder Cup. Player, who has won nine majors and played golf with every U.S. president over the past 70 years, also discussed his passion for the game and its ability to raise funds for charitable causes. He held a celebrity golf event in Bedford Hill, New York, to raise money for pancreatic cancer, a cause close to his heart after losing his wife to the disease in 2021. In conclusion, Gary Player's advocacy for government non-interference in sports reflects his belief in the separation of sports and politics. Despite his own involvement in political activities within golf, he supports the proposed merger between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour. Player also expressed his opposition to athletes becoming too political and shared his perspectives on the Ryder Cup and the charitable impact of golf.


Gary Player's stance on government non-interference in sports offers a crucial perspective on the intersection of sports, politics, and business. For new businesses, particularly those in the sports industry, this viewpoint presents both opportunities and potential challenges.

Opportunities for New Businesses

Player's advocacy for the separation of sports and politics could create a more conducive environment for new sports-related businesses. This separation might lead to fewer regulatory hurdles and more freedom for businesses to innovate and grow. Furthermore, his support for mergers like the one between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour suggests potential opportunities for strategic partnerships and expansions in the industry.
Challenges and Considerations
However, businesses must also consider the potential challenges. The intersection of sports and politics can often be unavoidable, especially in today's socially conscious climate. Athletes and sports organizations increasingly use their platforms to address societal issues, which can impact a business's operations and public perception. In conclusion, the "hot take" is that while Gary Player's views on government non-interference in sports may offer a simplified approach, the reality for new businesses in the sports industry is likely more complex. Navigating the intricate relationship between sports, politics, and business will require a delicate balance and strategic foresight.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/18/gary-player-says-government-should-stay-out-of-sports.html
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