Phil Mickelsonsays the insensitive comments he made recently about a new Saudi golf league were taken “out of context and without my consent” … but the golf star is still issuing a mea culpa nonetheless.
Phil broke it all down in a lengthy statement on his social media page Tuesday … just days after he admitted to supporting the formation of a new Saudi golf league, despite what he called the country’s “horrible record of human rights.”
“We know they killed (Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal) Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights,” Mickelson said, according to The Fire Pit Collective.
“They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape how the PGA Tour operates.”
Phil went on to say that he believed the new Saudi league — which was reportedly trying to sway top American golfers with millions of dollars in cash — could force big and necessary changes on the PGA Tour.
While Phil said Tuesday the comments were “off record” and out of context — he admitted that the words were offensive and regrettable regardless.
“It was reckless, I offended people, and I am deeply sorry for my choice of words,” Mickelson said in his statement. “I’m beyond disappointed and will make every effort to self-reflect and learn from this.”
He continued, “My intent was never to hurt anyone and I’m so sorry to the people I have negatively impacted. This has always been about supporting the players and the game and I appreciate all the people who have given me the benefit of the doubt.”
Phil then hinted he could take a step away from the game for a while following the controversy … saying he “desperately” needs “some time away.”
We should note … Phil’s worked hard to change the game over the years, including a revamp of the US Ryder Cup system and helped to create the Player Impact Program … a monumental moment for player pay.