Report: 9/11 Families United sent letter to Augusta National about LIV Golf
A week before the Masters, 9/11 Families United has sent a letter to Augusta National asking to speak to the club’s chairman about the decision to allow Saudi-backed LIV golfers to play in the tournament, according to a report by USA Today.
The group also plans to hold a press conference at Atlanta’s The Commerce Club to discuss the decision, according to the newspaper. Augusta National Golf Club owns much of the property around the property in Augusta.
In a letter to Augusta chairman Fred Ridley from 9/11 Families United, obtained by USA Today, national chair Terry Strada wrote: “Countless Americans have said they will ‘never forget’ what happened on 9/11, but those words without actions are meaningless. You have the power to stand with the 9/11 community and show that you have not forgotten about your fellow Americans.
“The decision is yours. I hope you will consider my request to speak with you ahead of the tournament so that I may educate you about the potential harm caused by normalizing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and giving recognition to its servants — no matter how financially beneficial it may be for your club.”
According to the newspaper, the letter was sent via email on Monday and the club has not responded to a request for comment.
Strada’s husband, Tom, was killed in the World Trade Center in the attack on Sept. 11, 2001.
According to the letter to Ridley, in Tuesday’s press conference in Atlanta family members will “share our stories and outrage with the decision by Augusta National Golf Club to give an international platform to those golfers who abandoned the PGA (Tour) to become servants of the Kingdom and help LIV Golf with Saudi Arabia’s ‘sportswashing’ of the Kingdom’s horrific human rights record.”
There are 18 members of LIV Golf scheduled to play in the Masters, including former champions Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed and Bubba Watson.
Augusta National announced in December that players eligible under the club’s criteria, including those currently playing on the LIV Golf tour, will be invited to compete in the major tournament. The decision came amid a growing divide between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf. Those players who have jumped to LIV Golf have been banned from playing in PGA Tour events and stripped of their membership. Both golf circuits have filed lawsuits against the other.
In a statement from the club in announcing the field, Ridley said: “Regrettably, recent actions have divided men’s professional golf by diminishing the virtues of the game and the meaningful legacies of those who built it. Although we are disappointed in these developments, our focus is to honor the tradition of bringing together a preeminent field of golfers this coming April.”