LIV Tour To Make Its American Debut In What Might Be A Hostile Setting In Oregon

Oregon officials have not rolled out the red carpet to welcome the tourney.

The Saudi Arabia government-backed LIV golf group makes its United States debut near Portland, Oregon and there is none of that community let’s feel good because professional golfers will entertain us for a weekend going around. Local politicians have put out the you are not welcome here sign and on national politicians Senator Ron Wyden is leading the charge because of a 2016 murder in Portland that might have been committed by a Saudi national. “It’s wrong to be silent when Saudi Arabia tries to cleanse blood-stained hands, in the fight for Oregonians to get justice — Fallon Smart was killed very close to our house in Southeast Portland, and the person charged with the crime, a hit-and-run death, was, based on all the evidence, whisked out of the country by the Saudis before he stood for trial,” Wyden said.

Eleven local mayors are not happy with the LIV stop in the Portland-area.  The 11 mayors signed a letter officially opposing the tournament. A new term has been created to describe the LIV tour. “Sportswashing.” But “sportswashing” is not exactly new. The 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics legitimized the Nazi regime by showing a kind and tolerant Germany through sports. There was a call for the United States to boycott the 1936 Summer Games because of reports of atrocities taking place in Germany but the boycott never took place. The LIV tour is being funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. The LIV tour is giving huge sums of cash to golfers including Phil Mickelson. Mickelson has criticized the Saudis for human rights violations but took the Saudi money. The 2022 soccer World Cup will be held in Qatar later this year. There is an assertion that slave labor built the Qatar World Cup venues but the games must go on because there is money to be made.

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Phil Mickelson tries to get through the crowd during the final round at the PGA Championship golf tournament on the Ocean Course, Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Kiawah Island, S.C. (AP Photo/Matt York)