9/11 Families United ‘betrayed’ after PGA Tour among ‘Saudi shills’ via merger with LIV Tour

It was just about nine months ago when PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan said he did not envision a truce with LIV Golf.

But on Tuesday, the two tours merged into one in the first North American sports league merger since the NFL and AFL.

The internet was quick to point out Monahan's hypocrisy, as the announcement came almost one year to the day that Monahan praised PGA's morals and blasted LIV Golf, which was backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

Now, 9/11 Families United is echoing most people's sentiments.


PGA Tour logo is seen during the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines South on Jan. 29, 2021, in San Diego, California.  (Ben Jared/PGA Tour via Getty Images)

“9/11 Families United is shocked and deeply offended by the newly announced merger between the PGA Tour and the LIV Golf league that is bankrolled by billions of sportswashing money from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Saudi operatives played a role in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and now it is bankrolling all of professional golf,” the organization said in a statement.

“PGA Commissioner 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. 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,” said 9/11 Families United Chair Terry Strada, whose husband Tom died in the World Trade Center’s North Tower. “Make no mistake – we will never forget.

“Mr. Monahan talked last summer about knowing people who lost loved ones on 9/11, then wondered aloud on national television whether LIV Golfers ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour. They do now – as does he. 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.”

PGA Tour Championship

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan speaks during a press conference prior to the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club on Aug. 24, 2022, in Atlanta. (Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)


Strada was referencing a resurfaced video of Monahan being interviewed by CBS' Jim Nantz on June 12, 2022, at the RBC Canadian Open where Nantz asked the commissioner how much he talked to PGA Tour members about ramifications if they joined LIV, citing 9/11 families being against the Saudi-backed league.

“Well, I talked to players, I talked at a player meeting, and I've talked to a number of players individually for a long period of time. And I think you'd have to be living under a rock to not know that there are significant implications. And as it relates to the families of 9/11, I have two families that are close to me that lost loved ones. So my heart goes out to them. And I would ask any player that has left or any player that would ever consider leaving: Have you ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour?”

The 9/11 families blasted LIV Golfers for accepting the money from LIV, which was funded by the Public Investment Fund.

However, despite many PGA superstars remaining loyal to their tour, though, Monahan not only merged with the PGA's then-rival – he said in a memo to his players that the Public Investment Fund, which has funded LIV, will be “contributing…a significant financial investment” in the deal.

Jay Monahan The Players press conference

Jay Monahan speaks to the media prior to The Players Championship on March 7, 2023, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)


The agreement will end all pending litigation between the three circuits and will allow for players who left their respective tours to re-apply for membership following the 2023 season.

Fox News' Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.

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