9/11 families rip Saudi-financed golf tour ahead of finale at Trump resort

Correction: Greg Norman is the CEO and commissioner of LIV Golf.

The families of the victims who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks released a new ad blasting the Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour.

In an advertisement released on Tuesday titled “Follow the Money,” advocacy group 9/11 Justice detailed how the Saudi government is using its oil profits to fund exhibition golf in an effort to distract people from its past human rights violations and treatment of women. 

The advocacy group in its new advertisement mentioned the killing of Washington Post journalist and Saudi government opponent Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 and the Saudi government’s role in supporting those who orchestrated the 9/11 attacks.

“The Saudis are using oil profits to fund exhibition golf, hoping to distract you from their policies of oppressing women, murdering journalists and supporting the 9/11 terrorists,” the new ad says. 

The latest campaign ad follows a letter the advocacy group sent to former President Trump earlier this year in which it urged him to meet the group’s family members and discontinue his business relationship with Saudi Arabia and LIV Golf, also noting Trump’s past remarks blaming the country for the terrorist attacks. 

Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, N.J., hosted a LIV Golf tournament in July. 

“This is the second LIV tournament hosted by Donald Trump at his golf courses this year, and that is painful and really disappointing,” 9/11 Justice President Brett Eagleson, whose father, Bruce Eagleson, was murdered in the terrorist attacks, said in a statement. “We continue to urge Mr. Trump to meet with us to hear our views.”

LIV Golf, led by former professional golfer Greg Norman as CEO and commissioner, has faced controversy in its inaugural season for its ties to Saudi Arabia and its rivalry with the PGA Tour after top golfers Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau left the PGA Tour for LIV Golf.

The Department of Justice launched a probe into possible “anticompetitive activity” by the PGA Tour in early July. That came after the PGA Tour fined and banned players who left in favor of LIV Golf. The PGA Tour’s bylaws state that players are not allowed to participate in other televised golf events without permission from its commissioner.

“Not everyone will agree, but we believe that sports, including golf, are forces for good around the world — and by growing the game globally — LIV can and will do a lot of good,” LIV Golf spokesperson Jonathan Grella said in a statement to The Hill. 

LIV Golf’s tournament finale is slated to happen at Trump National Doral Golf Club in Miami later this week.

–Updated on Oct. 26 at 11:47 a.m.

Tags 9/11 Justice Brooks Koepka Bruce Eagleson Bryson DeChambeau Florida Greg Norman Human rights abuses Jamal Khashoggi Jamal Khashoggi killing LIV Golf Miami PGA Tour Phil Mickelson President Trump Saudi Arabia September 11 attacks

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