A coalition of families and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks said Tuesday it was “shocked” and “deeply offended” over the PGA Tour’s stunning merger with the Saudi Arabia-backed Public Investment Fund to create a new commercial venture to unify all the global professional golf tours, including LIV Golf and the European tour.
9/11 Families United has long alleged the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia funded and supported al-Qaeda as it prepared for the terrorist attacks. Osama bin Laden, the head of al-Qaeda who ordered the attacks, and 15 of the 19 hijackers were originally from the kingdom.
Last year, when several of the PGA Tour’s top players, including Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, took millions in bonus money to defect to LIV Golf, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said in a TV interview with CBS’ Jim Nance: “You have to be living under a rock to know there would be significant implications. As it relates to the families of 9/11, I have two families that are close to me that lost loved ones, so my heart goes out to them. I would ask any player that has left, or any player that ever would consider leaving, have you ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour?”
But 9/11 Families United Chair Terry Strada, whose husband Tom died in the north tower of the World Trade Center, said Tuesday in a news release the PGA Tour and Monahan have now become paid shills of the Saudis.
“Monahan co-opted the 9/11 community last year in the PGA’s unequivocal agreement that the Saudi LIV project was nothing more than sportswashing of Saudi Arabia’s reputation,” Strada said. “But now the PGA and Monahan appear to have become just more paid Saudi shills, taking billions of dollars to cleanse the Saudi reputation so that Americans and the world will forget how the Kingdom spent their billions of dollars before 9/11 to fund terrorism, spread their vitriolic hatred of Americans, and finance Al Qaeda and the murder of our loved ones. Make no mistake — we will never forget.”
Strada jumped on Monahan’s comment last year where he asked if any player who had left or considered leaving PGA Tour ever had to apologize for being part of the tour.
“They do now — as does he,” Strada said. “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.”
Newsmax reached out to the PGA Tour for comment.
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