Hank Haney, former SiriusXM radio host and coach for Tiger Woods, filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour, alleging that they put pressure on Sirius to cancel his radio show.
Back in May, on the “Hank Haney Golf Radio” show on SiriusXM, Haney made comments about the U.S. Women’s Open that caused backlash. These comments were taken to be sexist and racist, and Haney both apologized on air and released a formal apology. Sirius initially responded by suspending Haney before cancelling his show altogether.
Now, in a lawsuit filed in a Florida federal court, Haney is alleging that PGA Tour Inc. used its business connections to force Sirius to suspend Haney and cancel his show. He states that this constitutes unlawful interference with a contract, as the PGA Tour was not a party to his contract with Sirius. Haney claims that Sirius initially told him that there would be minimal consequences for his actions. He also cites a joint statement after the suspension that states the suspension was, “at the PGA Tour’s instruction.”
In his complaint, Haney also claims that the PGA Tour has a history of interfering with him. Back in 2012, Haney released a book, “The Big Miss,” which discusses his time as Tiger Woods’ coach. Haney claims that, since the PGA Tour is very protective of Woods’ image, they sought to undermine Haney as a form a retaliation. Specifically, he alleged that the PGA Tour induced its stores and other retailers to back out of preorders for his book, in addition to having the Golf Network cancel his “Haney Project” show in 2013.
Haney now says that the PGA Tour seized on the Sirius incident to cause him further professional harm. He alleged that his income and reputation were damaged by the PGA Tour’s actions, causing millions of dollars in damages. In particular, he stated that an agreement with Callaway Golf Co. fell through because Sirius cancelled his show. We will continue to monitor the status of this lawsuit.