Merger of Rip Pro Golf Legislators

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress had a lot to say Tuesday about the surprising fusion between the PGA Tour and Saudi-backed insurgent league LIV Golf after months of tension between the two rival organizations.

LIV Golf is backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which is controlled by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Saudi leader has been accused of trying to cover up his government’s human rights abuses by investing in sports organizations around the world, a practice known as “sportswashing”.

PGA Tour Chairman Jay Monahan and PGA Tour players previously raised concerns about LIV Golf, calling the upstart an affront to the families of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“So strange,” tweeted Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). “PGA officials were in my office just a few months ago talking about how Saudis’ human rights record should disqualify them from having any involvement in a major American sport.”

“I guess maybe their concerns weren’t really about human rights?” added Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Greg Norman, CEO of LIV Golf, has also been widely criticized for his comments downplaying the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in Turkey.

The agreement will combine golf-related business activities and the rights of the Public Investment Fund, which includes LIV Golf, with the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, to create a new “for-profit entity to ensure that all parties stakeholders benefit from a model that provides maximum excitement and competition among the best players in the game,” according to a press release.

The Public Investment Fund is “ready to invest billions” in the new entity, according to CNBC.

“At the end of the day, it’s always a question of money”, tweeted Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas). “Saudi Arabia has just bought itself a world government of golf.”

Progressive Representative Ro Khanna (D-California), meanwhile, told HuffPost that the merger should be reviewed by federal regulators like the Federal Trade Commission. He said his concerns were not limited to Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses, but also monopoly power.

“A merger of this size and weight deserved a vote from PGA Tour players – another reason players’ unions matter. Golf is one of the only major professional sports leagues in the United States not to have it,” Khanna added. Twitter.

Not all legislators were concerned.

Rep. James Clyburn (DS.C.), who met with LIV’s CEO last year, called the merger a “good thing.”

And Rep. Nancy Mace (RS.C.), chair of the Congressional Golf Caucus, tentatively welcomed the deal, suggesting it would benefit the sport and her district, which has many golf courses.

“Obviously Saudi money is involved…you know, I would have some concerns about that. But look at my district – we have over 30 golf courses,” Mace told HuffPost.

Mace said it would be appropriate for government regulators to carefully review the merger.

“Any type of significant acquisition or merger certainly deserves careful consideration in any industry, just in general,” Mace said.

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