Speaking at a press conference Tuesday near Bedminster, New Jersey, Terry Strada, chairman of 9/11 Families United — a coalition of families and survivors of the 2001 attacks — said holding such a tournament so close to the venue is the worst terrorist attack in American history is wrong.
The competition, the third in the series, will take place at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster from July 29th.
“September 11, after nearly three hours of unprecedented terror by 19 Saudi-funded terrorists, Bedminster and nearby cities came together in an unusual way,” said Strada, who lost her husband in the attacks.
“750 innocent people from New Jersey were brutally murdered, leaving more than 1,000 children in our cities without parents, including three of mine. Friends, neighbors and strangers accepted our suffering and helped us through the devastation and pain.”
Alison Remy Crowther, a 9/11 United Families member whose son died in the attacks, stressed that Saudi Arabia must be held accountable for the “barbaric human rights atrocities for which they are known” if the kingdom is to “gain legitimacy in the modern world.” arena and become world leaders.”
Echoing this sentiment, Matthew Bocchi, whose father, John, also died in the attacks, noted that the group had gathered “to express our concerns about the adoption of the LIV and to state that we, as 9/11 families, are not going anywhere.”
“We are furious, hurt and feel like we have been let down again by professional golfers partnering with the very country that is responsible for our pain and suffering,” he said.
However, the families of the victims pressed for further disclosure, and last year the FBI released a document detailing the FBI’s work to investigate alleged logistical support that a Saudi consular officer and a suspected Saudi intelligence agent in Los Angeles provided at least two hijackers.
In response to the criticism, LIV Golf told CNN, “As we said, we have our deepest sympathy for these families. While some may disagree, we believe golf is a force for good around the world.”
The 9/11 issue is just one of a number of criticisms of the LIV Golf series.
Before the former number of the world. 1 Greg Norman, Team Series LIV is backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), a sovereign wealth fund chaired by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and has pledged a total of $250 million. prize money.
Tournaments are played over 54 holes rather than the 72 holes of the PGA Tour, and there are no cuts to players during the tournament.
Strada went on to criticize the involvement of players, particularly American players, saying they were willing pawns in Saudi Arabia’s sports laundering, a term used to describe corrupt or authoritarian regimes that use sports and sporting events to whitewash their image internationally.
“LIV Golf is not a sport or good competition among worthy rivals, it is a multi-billion dollar PR stunt bought and paid for by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. By joining the LIV, the players unashamedly became partners with the very country reported by US intelligence. prove multiple links to the 9/11 attacks,” she said.
She said she contacted US President Joe Biden and LIV Golf CEO Norman to meet with 9/11 Families United and answer their questions.
“All those golfers who remain ‘loyal’ to the very disloyal PGA in all its various forms will pay a heavy price when the inevitable MERGER to the LIV happens and you get nothing but a big ‘thank you’ from PGA officials. who make millions of dollars a year,” Trump wrote on Truth Social Monday.
“If you don’t take the money now, you get nothing after the merger happens and only say how smart the original signers were.”
CNN has not received a response from Trump or his team as of press time.