The LIV Golf Invitational Series debut, a Saudi-backed competitor on the PGA Tour, continues to suffer from backlash, external injuries and serious injuries.
Earlier this week, the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour (formerly European Tour) both showed they would not give their players a chance to play at the LIV Golf opening ceremony early next month. On Wednesday, LIV Golf Chief Executive Officer Greg Norman hurled fuel on the fire to reduce the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying, “The Times,” we are all wrong. “
Norman is trying to make LIV Golf a sports-related, non-political activity. But with LIV Golf sponsored by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, with a multi-billion dollar pledge promised, critics doubt that Norman, and many players from all walks of life, would align themselves with a government that has repeatedly granted human rights. breaking the rules.
One of the most notable cases: the assassination of Khashoggi, a US resident and a Washington Post reporter who was abducted and deported in 2018 by the Saudi ambassador to Istanbul. Human rights groups and insane organizations have revealed that Saudi Arabia’s Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman, the PIF chairman, signed the petition. Salman has denied the allegations but said he took “full responsibility” as national leader. This, apparently, was enough to satisfy Norman.
When forced to kill Khashoggi, Norman tried to answer the question. “Everyone has it, doesn’t she?” He said. He said: “It has been stated, from what I have read, more than what you have reported. Take ownership, no matter what it is. Look, we all made mistakes and you just want to learn from those mistakes and how to fix them in the future.
Recently, Saudi Arabia killed 81 people in a massacre on March 12 which also sparked international opposition. Norman also wanted to avoid questions about the incident.
“I have a lot of messages but I honestly look forward to it,” he said. “I do not look back. I don’t look into the politics of things. I will not go into anything that happens in someone else’s world. I heard about it, and I continued. ”
As Norman moves forward, human rights activists and opponents of the Saudi government are not. Amnesty International has sued long-time Ryder Cup star Lee Westwood to defend his idea of playing the LIV game due to the huge amount of money involved.
“Lee Westwood obviously has the right to express his views on the extent to which sport and politics should be mixed, but with Saudi officials throwing large sums of money into golf and other sports to clean up their world record it is clear that such a golf tournament is already political. long ago, “Amnesty International said in a statement.
“Riyadh’s new passion for sports has come at a time when Saudi officials are killing more people, while more civil rights activists have been imprisoned in the Empire and while Saudi artillery is still falling on civilians in Yemen.
“We urge all golfers who want to play in the competitions run by Saudi banks to consider how the game wash works and how they can address this issue in talking about human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia. well paid people have taken LIV Golf money but not talking about what is happening in Saudi Arabia. “
Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson were among those who wanted to play in the LIV Golf. Mickelson’s comments about Khashoggi’s death, and it shakes him out of destroying the PGA Tour, sparked his dismissal.
Mickelson told biographer Alan Shipnuck: “I find it very frightening. “We know he killed Khashoggi and he has a bad reputation for human rights. He kills people there for being gay. Knowing all this, why should I think? Because this is a constant opportunity to redefine the way the PGA Tour works.”
Mickelson has not played since early February and has not spoken in public since the end of the same month. He was still named in next week’s PGA Championship, a race he won last year at the age of 50.
The first LIV Golf event is scheduled for June 9-11 at the Centurion Club of England, with a $ 4 million wallet for the winner. The 2022 Masters, by contrast, paid $ 2.7 million to win the Scottie Scheffler.
All eight events are on the 2022 LIV schedule, the last at the Trump National Doral in Miami in October. Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia also invested $ 2 billion in the project, with the aim of expanding 14 events by 2024 and 2025.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or talk to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.