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Not everyone is happy about the sudden merger of PGA and LIV Golf

Some lawmakers, human rights activists, and members of groups that support 9/11 families have lashed out at the PGA Tour for planning to partner with Saudi-backed LIV Golf, as U.S. golf organizations set national records. accuses it of supporting the “sports wash” of Human rights violations.

The deal, announced Tuesday, was billed as follows: put an end to a bitter rivalry between organizations. But beyond the world of golf, the LIV has sparked controversy with backing from the Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s $620 billion sovereign wealth fund. PIF.

Under the transaction, the PGA and PIF will form a new for-profit golf entity, with the Wealth Fund providing an undisclosed capital investment. Saudi Arabia’s funding has rekindled concerns that the country is using the PGA and professional golf to improve its global public image.

“Saudi Arabia’s state fund clearly controls much of professional golf while also sportswashing the country’s disastrous human rights record,” said Joey Shea, Saudi Arabia researcher at Human Rights Watch. Let’s go,” he said. statement on wednesday.

The PGA-LIV agreement suggests that human rights “have taken a back seat to the economic benefits of the merger,” Shea said.

A PGA representative did not respond to a request for comment. Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Sports, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Saud, Said on “60 Minutes” in April He disputed the sportswash accusations, claiming the LIV tour helped bring people together.

9/11 families ‘deeply resentful’

A group of survivors and families of victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks said they were “shocked and deeply outraged” by the agreement.

9/11 Families United said in a statement that “Saudi operatives were involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and are now fully funding professional golf.”

“Our entire 9/11 community has been betrayed. [PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan] And the PGA said their care for our loved ones was merely a window dressing for money and never paid homage to the great game of golf.” United chairman Terry Strada said in a statement. .

and interview PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said Wednesday on The Golf Channel that he regretted not reaching out to the families and others of 9/11.

“Any hypocrisy must be acknowledged by me. By prioritizing confidentiality, I withheld information from very important voters, including the families of 9/11 survivors,” he said.

Opposition from golfers

Shortly after its launch a year ago, LIV divided professional golf in two by dangling multi-million dollar contracts to attract PGA Tour players to the organization. The PGA soon banned players who teed off in LIV tournaments from their own events, creating a bitter rivalry. Antitrust litigation — Between two competing factions.

Following the announcement of the deal, some Players said they felt blinded, PGA Tour player Wesley Bryan complained that he learned about the deal through social media. Bryan said he felt “betrayed” and would not trust PGA Tour management “for a very long time.”

‘I still hate LIV’ PGA golfer Rory McIlroy Said at the PGA Tour press conference on Wednesday. “I hope it goes away and I fully expect it to.”

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pga-liv-merger-reaction-backlash/ Not everyone is happy about the sudden merger of PGA and LIV Golf

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