PGA Tour Should Be 'Ashamed' As Saudi Merger Leaves 9/11 Families Feeling 'Betrayed'

9/11 Families United says the PGA Tour should be ashamed at their 'hypocrisy and greed' at partnering up with Saudi Arabia

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan on during a pro-am prior to the Zurich Classic of New Orleans
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A families and survivors group of the 9/11 attacks has hit out at the PGA Tour’s “hypocrisy and greed” and says Jay Monahan should be “ashamed” after engineering their merger with the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF).

The hugely surprising deal struck between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the PIF has caused shockwaves throughout the sport - and Monahan has been called to resign by some angry players.

But it’s also having a far reaching impact around America, especially with 9/11 Families United who have reacted angrily to being “betrayed” by Monahan.

The PGA Tour commissioner used the source of the LIV Golf funding from Saudi Arabia as a reason for players to stick with the PGA Tour and not join Greg Norman’s new organisation.

Monahan even used the 9/11 terror attacks on New York in 2001 as a personal plea to players thinking of leaving to play for LIV Golf – given Saudi Arabia’s reported involvement as the home of several of the terrorists.

“As it relates to the families of 9/11, I have two families who are close to me who lost loved ones, and my heart goes out to them,” Monahan said last year.

“I would ask any player who has left or who would ever consider leaving, have you ever had to apologise for being a member of the PGA Tour?”

Those comments are now being highlighted even more as the PGA Tour join forces with the PIF, to the dismay and anger of those who lost people in 9/11.

“Jay Monahan co-opted the 9/11 community last year in the PGA’s unequivocal agreement that the Saudi LIV project was nothing more than sportswashing of Saudi Arabia’s reputation,” said the chair of the 9/11 Families United, Terry Strada.

“But now the PGA and Monahan appear to have become just more paid Saudi shills, taking billions of dollars to cleanse the Saudi reputation so that Americans and the world will forget how the Kingdom spent their billions of dollars before 9/11 to fund terrorism, spread their vitriolic hatred of Americans, and finance al Qaeda and the murder of our loved ones.

“Make no mistake – we will never forget.”

“PGA Tour leaders should be ashamed of their hypocrisy and greed. Our entire 9/11 community has been betrayed by commissioner Monahan and the PGA as it appears their concern for our loved ones was merely window-dressing in their quest for money – it was never to honor the great game of golf.”

Monahan tried to defend himself in his press conference what the 9/11 comments were put to him, but his explanation will not have calmed any anger over the move.

"Any time I've said anything I've said it with the information I had at that moment, and I said it based on someone that's trying to compete for the PGA Tour and our players," said Monahan.

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.