PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan is now complicit in Saudi Arabia’s exercise in sports washing, throwing in the towel after two years of bitter court fighting and agreeing to a shocking merger with LIV Golf.
He had called LIV "a foreign monarchy that is spending billions of dollars in an attempt to buy the game of golf.”
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, owner of LIV Golf, is to be the exclusive investor in the PGA/LIV golf-related commercial operations and businesses. It retains the right to further make further investments.
It wasn’t that long go that Monahan was aligned with the families of 9/11 victims in the criticism of the PGA players who defected to the LIV.
The 911families.org group on June 11, 2022 criticized PGA Tour members who defected to the LIV.
It issued a statement that noted that Osama bin Laden and 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers were Saudis and blamed the Kingdom for cultivating and spreading the hate-filled Islamist ideology that inspired the violent jihadists to carry out the deadly 9/11 attacks.
"Given Saudi Arabia’s role in the death of our loved ones and those injured on 9/11—your fellow Americans—we are angered that you are so willing to help the Saudis cover up this history in their request for ‘respectability.' When you partner with the Saudis, you become complicit with their whitewash, and help give them the reputational cover they so desperately crave—and are willing to pay handsomely to manufacture.”
Monahan once said: "I have two families that are close to me that lost loved ones. My heart goes out to them and I would ask that any player that has left, or that would ever consider leaving, have you ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour?”
Upon news of the PGA/LIV combination, Terry Strada, chair of 9/11 Families United, called Monahan a phony. “Mr. Monahan talked last summer about knowing people who lost loved ones on 9/11, then wondered aloud on national television whether LIV Golfers ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour. They do now – as does he," said Strada.
"PGA Tour leaders should be ashamed of their hypocrisy and greed. Our entire 9/11 community has been betrayed by Commissioner Monahan and the PGA as it appears their concern for our loved ones was merely window-dressing in their quest for money – it was never to honor the great game of golf.”
But Jay’s heart obviously is no longer with the 9/11 families. He has moved on, calling the PGA/LIV merger “a historic day for the game we all know and love.”
More precisely, it’s a historic day because it marks the decision of the PGA Tour to trash its legacy and tradition in exchange for Saudi loot.
It’s also a big day for Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and his effort to use sports to distract attention from his country’s sorry human rights record.
It's day of betrayal for the 9/11 families. They were double-crossed by Monahan and the PGA.