Phil Mickelson Apologizes For ‘Out Of Context’ Saudi Golf Comment, Loses Sponsor

Golf legend Phil Mickelson apologized for his “out of context” comment about the new Saudi golf league when he reportedly said the country had a “horrible record of human rights.”

“We know they [Saudi Arabia] killed (Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal) Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights,” Mickelson previously shared about the murdered journalist, according to The Fire Pit Collective. The comments were noted by TMZ in a piece published Tuesday.

“They execute people over there for being gay,” he added. “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.” (RELATED: US Sanctions Ex-Saudi Official And ‘Rapid Intervention Force’ Over Murder Of Jamal Khashoggi — Excludes Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman)

Mickelson later posted a lengthy statement on his Twitter and said his words were taken “out of context” and without his consent. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)

“But the bigger issue, is that I used words that I sincerely regret that do not reflect my true feelings or intentions,” the golf star’s statement read. “It was reckless, I offended people, and I am deeply sorry for my choice of words.”

“I’m beyond disappointed and will make every effort to self-reflect and learn from this,” the statement added. “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.”

At the end of his statement, Mickelson announced he was stepping away from the game, saying he “desperately” needed “some time away to prioritize the ones I love most and work on being the man I want to be.”

Shortly after the report came out, one of Mickelson’s major sponsors, accounting agency KPMG, announced the two had “mutually agreed” to part ways.

“We wish him the best,” KPMG officials shared in a statement, the outlet noted.

Katie Jerkovich