A group of almost 2,500 survivors of members of the family killed or injured within the terrorist assaults of Sept. 11, 2001, have written an open letter to PGA Tour members to thank them for remaining loyal to the tour and never becoming a member of the rival LIV Golf Invitational Series, which is being financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
In the letter, which was launched Wednesday, the survivors described themselves because the spouses, youngsters, dad and mom and siblings of those that died and who have been injured within the 9/11 terrorist assaults, which killed almost 3,000 folks.
“To those many of you who chose to remain loyal to the PGA Tour — and did not defect to the Saudi Arabia-bankrolled LIV Golf Series — we thank you and the sponsors who support you,” the letter learn. “Thank you for standing up for decency. Thank you for standing up for the 9/11 Families. Thank you for resisting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to cleanse its reputation by buying off professional athletes.”
Osama bin Laden and 15 of the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11 have been Saudis.
More than 20 PGA Tour gamers, together with former main champions Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau, have signed with LIV Golf and obtained signing bonuses between as a lot as $100 million to $200 million, in keeping with printed experiences.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan suspended 17 gamers who competed within the inaugural LIV Golf event exterior London with no conflicting-event launch. The first LIV Golf occasion within the United States is scheduled to start out June 30 at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland, Oregon.
“We know that not all of you are millionaires, and that you compete to win tournaments, fame, and glory,” the letter continued. “We appreciate and applaud your spirit, drive, and talents, and believe that is all part of what makes competitive sports great.
“Some of your fellow PGA Tour members have traded their desires of earned success for straightforward cash — certainly, blood cash — whether or not they want these funds or not. They embody a number of the richest within the discipline, who justify their roles in Saudi Arabia’s efforts to sportswash by merely, and astoundingly, trying the opposite approach. They accomplish that casually when requested the exhausting questions or are confronted with the uncomfortable reality: That they’re serving to one of many world’s worst regimes paper over its crimes.”
Other 9/11 survivor groups have accused the players who defected to LIV Golf of being complicit in what they have termed Saudi Arabia’s sportswashing efforts.
“I feel I converse for just about each American in that we really feel the deepest of sympathy and the deepest of empathy for those who have misplaced family members, buddies in 9/11,” Mickelson said before last week’s U.S. Open. “It affected all of us, and people which have been immediately affected, I feel I am unable to emphasize sufficient how a lot empathy I’ve for them.”
Tuesday’s letter detailed other human rights violations, including the Saudi monarchy’s alleged involvement in the slaying of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. citizen.
“Unfortunately, Saudi terrorism did not finish with 9/11,” the letter read. “The world noticed that in 2018 with the cold-blooded homicide of Jamal Khashoggi ordered by the Saudi Crown Prince himself. And we proceed to see it in 2022, because the Saudi authorities has imprisoned scores of dissenters and journalists, hosted a public execution of 81 folks, slaughtered and bombed Yemenis, and dedicated numerous different crimes in opposition to girls and minorities.”
Some of the players who have signed with LIV Golf lost longtime sponsors after defecting. KPMG, Workday and Amstel Light ended their deals with Mickelson. Callaway, his longtime equipment sponsor, paused its relationship with him. The Royal Bank of Canada halted its business relationships with Johnson and Graeme McDowell, and Rocket Mortgage ended its sponsorship of DeChambeau.
“To these of you who’ve chosen what is correct over blood cash from a corrupt, damaging sports activities entity and its Saudi backers, please proceed to face sturdy,” the letter read. “You encourage hope and conviction that our lengthy journey to accountability and justice is in attain. We deeply worth your integrity and your willingness to face up for precept.
“We will Never Forget. Thank you for reminding all Americans and people of the world that we should never forget. Thank you for doing what is right.”