PGA Tour-LIV Golf merger 9/11 families tear into hypocrisy

There were going to be a wide range of reactions to the news that the PGA Tour and the LIV Golf (and DP World Tour), supported by Saudi Arabia, would unite.

The happiest partygoers were presumably the newly legitimized LIV Golf employees and its athletes, who will be able to play PGA Tour events once more while still getting LIV compensation.

Sadder still, the players who stood up for that tour and received nothing as a result are apparently now angry.

Then there is 9/11 family United, a group made up of the family of Sept. 11 victims, who have fought against LIV Golf in an effort to sport-wash Saudi Arabia’s appalling record on human rights and ties to terrorism.

Hours after the merger was revealed, the organization issued a statement in which it expressed its shock and deep offence at the decision. It also expressed particular contempt for PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, who had previously cited 9/11 while criticizing LIV’s supporters before joining their ranks.

The complete statement from Terry Strada, chair of 9/11 Families United, who lost her husband Tom in  the attack on the World Trade Center:

“PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan co-opted the 9/11 community last year in the PGA’s unequivocal agreement that the Saudi LIV project was nothing more than sports washing of Saudi Arabia’s reputation. But now the PGA and Monahan appear to have become just more paid Saudi shills, taking billions of dollars to cleanse the Saudi reputation so that Americans and the world will forget how the Kingdom spent their billions of dollars before 9/11 to fund terrorism, spread their vitriolic hatred of Americans, and finance al Qaeda and the murder of our loved ones. Make no mistake — we will never forget.
“Mr. Monahan talked last summer about knowing people who lost loved ones on 9/11, then wondered aloud on national television whether LIV Golfers ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour. They do now — as does he. PGA Tour leaders should be ashamed of their hypocrisy and greed. Our entire 9/11 community has been betrayed by Commissioner Monahan and the PGA as it appears their concern for our loved ones was merely window-dressing in their quest for money — it was never to honor the great game of golf.”

The 9/11 Families United statement highlights the animosity directed at many of the parties to this agreement, and it seems probable that Saudi Arabia will continue to try to use its oil revenue to intrude into American sports.

Suggested Read: PGA Tour, LIV Golf agree to merge in historic end to golf hostilities

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