Since the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour began, it has had its share of controversy mainly coming from current PGA Tour golfers and reporters who think a lot of the tour’s former golfers sold out for money.
The LIV Tour offered more money and more benefits to even the lesser tour players which is why most jumped. But LIV has had to face the reality that most see their tour golfers as un-American and unpatriotic for dealing with the Saudis knowing their recent history with 9/11.
The LIV Tour will be in Australia this weekend and while some are embracing having professional golfers there, others like Human Rights Watch researcher Joey Shea are once again calling them out.
“Saudi Arabia has experienced one of its worst periods for human rights in its modern history,” she told ABC news this week.
“Last year in March, we saw the largest single-day execution in recent history. 81 people were executed in Saudi Arabia in a single day. We really see LIV Golf as a major sportswashing attempt by Saudi Arabia to cover up its egregious abuses.”
Not true says tour player Bryson DeChambeau. He defended the tour and its golfers.
“It’s something that I truthfully believe is completely inaccurate,” DeChambeau said according to Golf Monthly. “People have their opinions and their perspectives on it, but we certainly don’t feel that way. We’re playing golf here.”
DeChambeau blames the media for the conflict and what he perceives as misinformation.
“I think a lot of it’s the media sometimes, not necessarily you guys. Australia has been fantastic. But sometimes that’s just what it is. I understand it. I think we all do. But at a certain point in time we’re all golfers. We still play great golf, and as you can see at the Masters you had three of the four up at the top were LIV players.”
As long as the LIV Tour is supported by what is seen by many as a terrorist country, it will continue to get criticized.