Patrick Reed’s defamation lawsuits continue to pile up.
Golf writer Shane Ryan posted the filing to his Twitter account, which makes sense as he’s one of the new defendants.
Good morning. I'm being sued by Patrick Reed for $250 million, with some others: https://t.co/6oCkFyaqI2 Obviously it's not something I can comment on much now, but I am going to say the thing same thing I said 7 years ago when this was threatened: I stand by my reporting 100%.
— Shane Ryan (@ShaneRyanHere) November 2, 2022
Ryan’s 2015 book Slaying the Tiger featured reporting from past college teammates of Reed (seen above in an Oct. 30 LIV Golf event) accusing him of cheating. Considering how wildly Reed and his infamous attorney Larry Klayman have been flinging lawsuits around, it’s actually a surprise Ryan is only now being added to the list.
In addition to Ryan, the suit names Fox Sports, the Associated Press, the New York Post, AP golf writer Doug Ferguson, and sportswriter Gavin Newsham.
It reads about as you’d expect, with claims that none of the writers or outlets involved spoke to people who would have exonerated Reed. You don’t have to be a lawyer to see how this one is likely to play out, but it’s probably going to be annoying as hell for everyone involved in the meantime. The Post and Fox Sports are included for running excerpts of Ryan’s book, which the Post did as part of a Newsham piece from September.
From a broader sports media angle, there’s another key element to consider, one that Reed’s team might not have. Reed is a LIV Golf player, meaning his future playing opportunities are dependent on the success of that tour. A key variable in LIV’s success has for some time been whether they’ll be able to find a broadcast partner in the United States.
There’s only one network that makes any sense at all for LIV, thanks to a lack of deal with the PGA Tour: Fox Sports. In fact, there’s been reporting that LIV actually plans to buy airtime on FS1 as a way to try and gain a broadcast foothold.
Having Reed, one of the most recognizable names on the LIV roster, openly suing Fox Sports for tens of millions of dollars, is probably not the best way to grease those particular wheels. The entire story just keeps getting crazier, and will likely continue to do so until Reed’s funding runs out or some level of the judicial system tosses the whole thing.
Or, hey, maybe this ends with Patrick Reed vs. Everyone in Golf Media as a landmark Supreme Court case. At this point, given all that’s happening in American society, could that even be considered a surprise?
[Photo from John David Mercer/USA Today Sports]