PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan speaks to LIV Golf: ‘How is this good for the game we love?’

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PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan had been curiously quiet about his league’s newest rival, LIV Golf, until Sunday afternoon when he joined Jim Nantz on the CBS Sports broadcast of the last round of the Canadian Open. A letter Monahan wrote to the players earlier in the week announced the suspensions of the 17 golfers who have already defected to LIV Golf and promised more for those going in the future, but many believed Monahan would be more vocally at the forefront during such a historic week.

The crux of what Monahan discussed with Nantz had to do with sportswashing and the source of money from LIV Golf to the bank accounts of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and others. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is funding these players, who together would have received around $500 million to come and play for LIV Golf over the next few years.

“It’s not a problem for me because I don’t work for the Saudi government. It’s probably a problem for the players who chose to take that money,” Monahan told Nantz on the show. “You have to ask yourself…why? Why is this group spending so much money signing players and pursuing a concept with no return? How is that good for the game we love? “

Monahan is correct in that either LIV Golf’s business model is akin to Netflix’s where they just light money on fire in hopes of co-opting a big enough market share to make them profitable. in the distant future either the Saudi league is less about golf and business models and more about being a front for a country that is extremely interested in whitewashing its reputation through sport.

A story that has gained momentum in recent days is that of 9/11 Families United. This entity is “bogged down in an active lawsuit against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, seeking a judgment in federal court against the country for its alleged role in training and financing the 9/11 hijackers, 15 of which were Saudi citizens”. according to ESPN.

“I think you would have to live under a rock not to know there are significant implications. Two families close to me have lost loved ones,” Monahan said. “I would ask any player who left or any player who was considering leaving, ‘Have you ever had to apologize for being a PGA Tour member?'”