“We’re not taking sides in this,” Tucker Carlson said on his popular Fox News show last night, “but one of the biggest controversies in sports for many years is between the PGA Tour and a upstart tour called LIV.”
Carlson then offered an interview to LIV Tour CEO and golfing legend, Greg Norman.
“Why is it so offensive to some American golf fans that you are doing here?” the Tucker Carlson Tonight host asked.
“I don’t know. I really, very honestly don’t care. I really want to grow the game of golf,” Norman replied. “At LIV, we see it for the NCAA and younger generations. At LIV, we see it as a pathway to opportunities for these kids to experience a new world. LIV is the future of golf.”
One person who would like to answer Carlson’s question is Terry Strada of 9/11 Families United. CNN’s Oliver Darcy wrote in his Reliable Sources column: “A spokesperson for 9/11 Families United told me that the band had contacted the Carlson team to see if they would be interested in having a 9/11 family on the program, given Norman’s appearance. But I’m told Carlson never responded.
Strada herself responded to Carlson’s encounter with Norman on Twitter, writing, “@TuckerCarlson did you just say re: LIV Golf you are NOT taking sides? Great to hear, I imagine your producer will call me then to come talk about the 9/11 families side???
Deadline has contacted Fox News and will add any comments received.
One of the reasons many criticize the LIV tour is that it is supported by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF). The fund is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia and the man the CIA says was behind the gruesome 2018 murder. Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was an outspoken critic of the Kingdom.
Families of 9/11 victims define controversy not as LIV vs. PGA, but USA vs. supporter of terrorism. They resent the direct line to Saudi Arabia because the 9/11 report of the National Commission on the Terrorist Attacks on the United States “identifies Saudi Arabia as the main source of funding for al- Qaeda”. Additionally, 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens.
In a statement ahead of last weekend’s LIV golf event at Donald Trump’s course in Bedminster, NJ, 9/11 Families United accused those associated with the tour “of ‘washing the sport’ the Kingdom’s reputation by playing in another tournament on American soil”. Le also noted that “Unfortunately, this new tournament is taking place 50 miles from Ground Zero.”
Norman argued that dozens of PGA Tour sponsors do business worth $40 billion with Saudi Arabia every year. He also stated that “The LPGA Tour is sponsored by [Saudi Oil giant] ARAMCO… The biggest sponsor of women’s golf in the world is ARAMCO,” likely referring to the company’s sponsorship of the Ladies Pro Tour-sanctioned ARAMCO Team Series, which the website says is “ a joint venture collaboration between Ladies European Tour and the Ladies Professional Golf Association… to increase playing opportunities for female golfers in Europe.