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PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan had been interestingly quiet on his league’s new rival, LIV Golf, until Sunday afternoon when he joined Jim Nantz on the CBS Sports broadcast of the final round of the Canadian Open. earlier in the week announced the suspensions of the 17 golfers who have already defected to LIV Golf and promised more for those who will go in the future, but many thought Monahan would be more vocally at the forefront during .
The crux of what Monahan discussed with Nantz had to do with sportswashing and the source of the money flowing from LIV Golf to the bank accounts of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and others. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is bankrolling these players, who combined have reportedly received around $500 million to come play for LIV Golf over the next few years.
“It’s not an issue for me because I don’t work for the Saudi Arabian government. It probably is an issue for those players that chose to take that money,” Monahan told Nantz on the broadcast. “You have to ask the question … why? Why is this group spending so much money recruiting players and chasing a concept with no possibility of a return? How is this good for the game that we love?”
Commissioner Jay Monahan joined the final-round broadcast to discuss the state of golf and the PGA TOUR. pic.twitter.com/UhvtDcHiup
Monahan is correct in this sense: either the LIV Golf business model is akin to that of Netflix where they just light money on fire in hopes of co-opting a large enough market share to make them profitable in the distant future, or the Saudi league is less about golf and business models and more about being a front for a country that is extremely interested in laundering its reputation through sports.
One story that has gained some momentum in recent days is that of the 9/11 Families United. This entity is “mired in an active lawsuit against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, seeking a judgment in federal court against the country for its alleged role in training and financing the 9/11 hijackers, 15 of whom were citizens of Saudi Arabia,” according to ESPN.
“I think you’d have to be living under a rock to not know there are significant implications. Two families close to me lost loved ones,” Monahan said. “I would ask any player who has left or any player who would ever consider leaving, ‘Have you ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour?'”
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