l-r; Louis Oosthuizen, Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell and Ratchanon Chantananuwat during a press conference at the Centurion Club, Hertfordshire ahead of the LIV Golf Invitational Series. Picture date: Tuesday June 7, 2022. (Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images)
Steven Paston – PA Images/Getty Images
Over the past week, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and several other golfers have been criticized for competing in the LIV Golf Invitational Series.
On Friday, 911familiesunited.org released a statement on the latest drama in the golf world. This group consists of families and survivors from the 2001 terrorist attacks.
According to 911familiesunited.org, the players leaving the PGA Tour for the Saudi-funded golf league have basically betrayed the United States.
“Given Saudi Arabia’s role in the death of our loved ones and those injured on 9/11—your fellow Americans—we are angered that you are so willing to help the Saudis cover up this history in their request for ‘respectability.’ When you partner with the Saudis, you become complicit with their whitewash, and help give them the reputational cover they so desperately crave—and are willing to pay handsomely to manufacture," Terry Strada wrote, via the New York Post. "The Saudis do not care about the deep-rooted sportsmanship of golf or its origins as a gentleman’s game built upon core values of mutual respect and personal integrity. They care about using professional golf to whitewash their reputation, and they are paying you to help them do it.”
Strada continued: "It is absurd for any American who chooses Saudi oil money over the September 11 community to think that these exceptions should be made, and we will be sure to say so publicly should you pursue that path under the misguided notion that your betrayal will go unnoticed."
Those who joined LIV Golf this week knew they would deal with plenty of criticism when they made this move.
Whether or not players like Johnson or Mickelson will respond to this letter is unclear at this time.