Hank Haney has filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour, alleging the tour has harboured a “vendetta” against him.
Haney, who was suspended by the PGA Tour and SiriusXM earlier this year for comments deemed racist and sexist on his eponymous radio program, filed the complaint in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida overnight, Australian time.
According to the documents, Haney, 64, is seeking damages “for the harm the PGA Tour caused when it improperly intimidated, enticed and threatened Sirius XMRadio, Inc. (SiriusXM) to suspend and ultimately terminate Haney’s radio broadcast on SiriusXM’s PGA Tour Radio station”. Haney claims the Tour has “long attempted to disrupt and interfere in Haney’s business”, most notably regarding the release of his book, The Big Miss, a tell-all from Haney’s time as Tiger Woods’ swing coach.
“At the time of the release in 2012, as the substantive content of the book became public through previews, the PGA Tour induced both ‘PGA Tour Superstores’ and ‘PGA Tour Shops’ to cancel previously placed orders of The Big Miss,” the lawsuit asserts. “Upon information and belief, the PGA Tour further induced smaller shops to back out of their preorders for the book.”
Haney also alleges the tour forced Golf Channel to discontinue his “Hank Haney Project” TV show on the network and SiriusXM to terminate Haney’s business relationship. According to Haney, these actions have cost advertising revenues that “would have amounted to millions” over the life of Haney’s agreements.
In May, Haney and his co-host Steve Johnson were involved in controversy when they made comments during Haney’s show regarding the US Women’s Open. Haney mockingly predicted “a Korean” would win the championship, held that week at the Country Club of Charleston, adding he couldn’t name six players on the LPGA Tour save for those with the last name “Lee”.
When reached by Golf Digest, the PGA Tour said it has no comment on the matter.
Haney is best known for coaching Woods from 2004 to 2010. He is also a longtime Golf Digest teaching professional.