GOLF

Trump tells golfers to ‘take the money’ from LIV Golf or ‘pay a big price’

ADVERTISEMENT

Former President Donald Trump has said professional golfers will “pay a big price” if they don’t join the Saudi-backed LIV International Golf Series now.

“All of those golfers who remain ‘faithful’ to the very treacherous PGA, in all its various guises, will pay a heavy price when the inevitable MERGER with LIV arrives, and you’ll get nothing but a big ‘thank you’ PGA officials who earn millions of dollars a year,” Trump wrote on Truth Social on Monday. His post came just a day after families of some 9/11 victims urged Trump to “reconsider” the events with LIV Golf.

ADVERTISEMENT

LIV Golf was founded by former professional golfer Greg Norman to challenge the PGA Tour and is funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. The league is an eight-tournament circuit that includes seven regular-season tournaments and a team event in October. It will be held at golf courses near Boston, Chicago and Miami in the United States – an event has already taken place in Portland, Oregon – and internationally in Thailand and Saudi Arabia (an event has already taken place in UK).

Additionally, the tour will be in New Jersey and will play a tournament at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster beginning July 29. Its final event, starting Oct. 27, will be hosted by Trump National Doral.

See also: Nancy Pelosi’s husband buys millions of Nvidia shares ahead of vote on chip manufacturing bill

But family members of those who perished in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City have urged Trump to cancel two upcoming events his golf courses are hosting in partnership with LIV Golf.

According to a letter from the 9/11 Justice group obtained by The New York Times NYT,
+0.65%,
the group wants Trump to “reconsider” his business with LIV Golf.

“It is incomprehensible to us, Mr. Trump, that a former President of the United States would reject our loved ones for personal financial gain.”

“It is incomprehensible to us, Mr. Trump, that a former President of the United States set aside our loved ones for personal financial gain,” the letter read.

“We just cannot understand how you could agree to accept money from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Golf League to hold their tournament on your golf course, and do it in the shadow of Ground Zero in New Jersey, which lost more than 700 residents during the attacks,” the letter continued.

See also: Trump lost and 2020 election not stolen, top conservative group concludes after exhaustive study

According to the New York Times, the letter also described a 2016 Fox News interview where Trump said, “Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis. It was Saudi. Take a look at Saudi Arabia. Trump added: “People came, most people were from Saudi Arabia. They weren’t from Iraq.

Representatives for former President Trump did not respond to requests for comment on this story and did not respond to the 9/11 justice letter, group chairman Brett Eagleson told The Times on Sunday.

Many top golfers – including Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed – have also come under fire for joining LIV Golf.

Phil Mickelson was reportedly offered $200 million just to play in the league, and Dustin Johnson was reportedly offered $150 million to play. These amounts would simply be for attendance, and other tournament winnings for LIV golf events could make payouts to these golfers even larger.

See also: Open Championship payout: How much did Cameron Smith earn?

According to the US State Department, Saudi Arabia has been accused in recent years of multiple human rights violations, including: unlawful killings; executions for non-violent crimes; enforced disappearances; torture and cases of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners and detainees by government agents; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; and taking political prisoners or detainees, among other offences.

ADVERTISEMENT