9/11 Families protest LIV Golf tour’s ‘sportswashing’ at Masters
9/11 Families United to Protest Saudi LIV Golf Tour's Participation in Masters Tournament
Terry Strada and LIV Golf ( Image via CNN/The New York Times )
A group of family members of 9/11 attack victims is set to protest against the LIV Golf Tour’s participation in the upcoming Masters tournament in Atlanta next week. Saudi Arabia has been accused of aiding the terrorists who carried out the attacks on September 11, 2001, although it has repeatedly denied the allegations.
Terry Strada, the chair of 9/11 Families United, formally requested a meeting with the Augusta National Golf Club chairman to discuss the matter before the tournament’s commencement.
Strada said, “Countless Americans have said they will ‘never forget’ what happened on 9/11, but those words without actions are meaningless…The decision is yours.”
“I hope you will consider my request to speak with you ahead of the tournament so that I may educate you about the potential harm caused by normalizing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and giving recognition to its servants — no matter how financially beneficial it may be for your club.”
This is not the first time that the same group has protested against a LIV Tour event. They held a demonstration at former President Trump’s Bedminster, N.J., golf course last year. Golfers from the LIV, including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Bubba Watson, were permitted to compete in the 2019 Masters, according to a December announcement from the Augusta National Golf Club.
Due to contractual issues, LIV players are not permitted to compete in PGA tournaments. Critics of LIV Tour allege that it is one of the most high-profile examples of “sportswashing,” which involves using major sporting events to deflect attention from a country’s poor human rights record or other controversies to enhance its image.
Protest against Saudi LIV Golf tour for sportswashing
The 9/11 Families United group believes that allowing LIV Tour golfers to participate in the Masters tournament gives recognition to Saudi Arabia, which they allege helped the terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
Terry Strada has publicly asked to meet with the chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club to inform him of the possible risks associated with normalising Saudi Arabia. The same group has previously protested an LIV Tour event at Trump’s Bedminster golf course.
The LIV Tour golfers, who have been banned from PGA tournaments, including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Bubba Watson, are set to participate in the upcoming Masters tournament.
The LIV Tour is owned by the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, which has faced allegations of poor human rights records and other controversies. The LIV Tour is being criticised as an example of sportswashing, which is when a country uses big athletic events to distract from its subpar human rights record in order to boost its image.
The 9/11 Families United group is holding a protest against the Saudi LIV Golf Tour because of its participation in the Masters tournament. According to the organisation, allowing World Tour golfers to compete in the competition normalises Saudi Arabia, which they claim was complicit in the 9/11 atrocities.
Terry Strada has formally requested a meeting with the Augusta National Golf Club chairman to discuss the issue. Critics of the LIV Tour accuse it of sportswashing to deflect from Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and other controversies.
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