9/11 Families United: ‘PGA Tour leaders should be ashamed of their hypocrisy’
The 9/11 Families United have condemned the PGA Tour’s and DP World Tour’s decision to merge with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit.
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers from 9/11 were Saudi citizens and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been accused of sportswashing its contentious record on human rights by bankrolling the LIV Golf circuit.
“PGA [Tour] Commissioner Jay Monahan co-opted the 9/11 community last year in the (PGA Tour’s) unequivocal agreement that the Saudi LIV project was nothing more than sportswashing of Saudi Arabia’s reputation. But now the PGA [Tour] 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,” said 9/11 Families United chair Terry Strada, whose husband, Tom, died in the World Trade Center’s North Tower.
Last year after LIV Golf first launched, Monahan joined the CBS telecast during the RBC Canadian Open and said: “As it relates to the families of 9/11, I have two families that are close to me who lost loved ones, and so my heart goes out goes to them — and I would ask any player who has left (for LIV) or any player who has ever considered leaving, have you ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour?”
Later that year, a coalition of families and survivors of the 9/11 attacks sent a letter to the representatives of LIV defectors such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Kevin Na, denouncing them for participating on a tour funded by the Saudis in an effort to “sportswash” their reputation.
Now, almost a year later, Monahan said the PGA Tour-LIV Golf merger is, “a momentous day for [the Tour] and the game of golf.” The 9/11 Families United, however, call the merger duplicitous on Monahan’s part.
“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,” Strada said. “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 [Tour] 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.”