A group of nearly 2,500 surviving family members killed or injured in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, have written an open letter to members of the PGA Tour to thank them for remaining loyal to the Tour and not joining the competing LIV Golf Invitational Series, which is funded by the Investment Fund. Saudi public.
In the letter released on Wednesday, survivors described themselves as the spouses, children, fathers and siblings of those who died and were injured in the 9/11 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
“To those who have chosen to remain loyal to the PGA Tour – and have not defected from the Saudi Arabia-funded LIV Golf Series – we thank you and your sponsors,” the letter read. “Thank you for defending decency. Thank you for standing by the 9/11 families. Thank you for resisting Saudi Arabia’s efforts to cleanse its reputation by purchasing professional athletes.”
Osama bin Laden and 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis.
More than 20 players on the PGA Tour, including former big champions Brooks KopkaAnd the Phil MickelsonAnd the Dustin Johnson And the Bryson DeShampoosigned with LIV Golf and received signing bonuses between $100 million and $200 million, according to published reports.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan suspended 17 players who participated in the inaugural LIV Golf Championship outside London without issuing a conflicting event. LIV Golf’s first event in the US is scheduled to begin June 30 at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland, Oregon.
The letter continued, “We know that you are not all millionaires, and that you are competing to win championships, fame and glory.” “We appreciate and applaud your spirit, leadership and talents, and we believe this is all part of what makes competitive sports great.
“Some of your fellow PGA Tour members have traded their dreams of success for easy money – in fact, blood money – whether they need that money or not. And among them are some of the richest people in the industry, who simply justify their roles in Saudi Arabia’s sportswashing efforts. and, amazingly, looking the other way. They do so casually when asked difficult questions or faced with the inconvenient truth: that they are helping one of the world’s worst regimes cover up its crimes.”
Other 9/11 survivor groups have accused players who defected to LIV Golf of complicity in what they described as sports washing efforts in Saudi Arabia.
“I think I speak for pretty much every American in that we feel the deepest sympathy, the deepest sympathy for those who lost loved ones and friends on 9/11,” Mickelson said before last week’s US Open. “It affected all of us, and for those who were directly affected, I think I can’t stress enough how sympathetic I am to them.”
Tuesday’s letter detailed other human rights abuses, including the Saudi monarchy’s alleged involvement in the murder of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi, a US citizen.
“Unfortunately, Saudi terrorism did not end with the events of September 11,” the letter read. “The world saw it in 2018 with the cold-blooded murder of Jamal Khashoggi on the order of the Saudi crown prince himself. And we continue to see it in 2022, as the Saudi government imprisoned dozens of dissidents and journalists, and hosted a public execution of Khashoggi. 81 people, massacred and bombed Yemenis, and perpetrated Countless other crimes against women and minorities.”
Some players who signed with LIV Golf have lost old sponsors after their defection. KPMG, Workday and Amstel Light have terminated their deals with Mickelson. Callaway, his longtime gear sponsor, has paused his relationship with him. The Royal Bank of Canada has ceased commercial relations with Johnson and Graeme McDowelland Rocket Mortgage has ended its sponsorship of DeChambeau.
“For those of you who chose the right over blood money from a corrupt and destructive sports entity and its Saudi supporters, please continue to stand strong,” the letter read. “You inspire hope and conviction that our long journey toward accountability and justice is within reach. We greatly appreciate your integrity and willingness to stand up for principle.
“We will never forget. Thank you for reminding all Americans and the people of the world that we must never forget. Thank you for doing the right thing.”