3 Key Points
- Patrick Reed directed to pay legal fees following defamation suit dismissal
- Court refers to Florida’s anti-SLAPP statute in decision against Reed
- The lawsuits were an offshoot of the wider PGA Tour vs LIV Golf conflict
Defamation Claims Dismissed, Costs Ordered for Reed
In a recent decision that could have ripple effects on outspoken athletes’ legal recourse, a federal judge has ordered professional golfer Patrick Reed to cover the legal fees of defendants he previously filed defamation suits against. While the lawsuits targeted various media entities and personalities, including Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee, they were discarded last September.
Florida Judge Cites Anti-SLAPP Statute
The ruling cited the anti-SLAPP statute of Florida law—devised to prevent legal actions used to pester critics—which supported the dismissal. Judge Timothy Corrigan elucidated that Reed’s litigation lacked substantial defamation claims and ostensibly were reactions to free speech protected commentary.
Reed’s Turbulent Transition from PGA Tour
The controversy unfolds in the broader narrative of rising tensions between the established PGA Tour and newcomer LIV Golf. Reed, who departed from the PGA Tour for LIV Golf in June 2022, was notably the only player who sought legal action against his detractors, part of this high-stakes golfing drama following his move.