Stephen A. Smith became the latest major sports personality to weigh in on the merger between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf on Tuesday’s episode of First Take.
While many have criticized the controversial move, Smith took the opposite stance, praising PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan for the decision.
“I love it,” Smith said. “I want to take a moment to do something I never thought I’d do on national television, and that’s give PGA commissioner Jay Monahan some love and some credit here. This is smart business on his part, make no mistake about it.”
Smith reminded viewers that he had been less critical of golfers who departed the PGA Tour for LIV Golf originally despite LIV’s ties to the Saudi Arabian government, stating that, “If our government can do business with [Saudi Arabia] … why are you making noise about golfers?”
He went on to praise Monahan for the move, which will help the PGA avoid pending litigation tied to LIV Golf. And as for players who’ve expressed their discontent with the PGA doing business with LIV after spurning big paydays from the new league, Smith doesn’t feel any sympathy.
“There were players that capitalized off of it, the Bryson DeChambeaus of the world and others, and then there were players that did not. Who knows how they’re going to feel about it, I don’t care,” Smith said. “At the end of the day, this merger, this marriage, it’s great for the sport, it’s the right thing to do.”