The next time you watch a golf tournament being played in Saudi Arabia, remember this. Remember the 81 human beings executed in 1 day in Saudi Arabia. Hey Greg Norman, the face of golf in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, maybe you need to consider this too. It is not always about money folks; the lives of ordinary people matter too. The come back might be that some of those executed were terrorists. The justice system in Saudi Arabia, however, is compromised and corrupt. Would you want to take the risk of being detained in this country for something that you did not do? Ask yourself this question.
Killing Khashoggi & Saudi Dissidents
The trouble with killing people as a form of justice is that you have to be darn sure you get it right. In a Principality, where the Saudi royal family hold absolute sway, offend the wrong person for any reason and you are in serious trouble. Criticise the royal family and the government, then, watch out for the ramifications. Regimes like this can make people with opposing views into criminals and terrorists. Remember Jamal Khashoggi? He was a Saudi journalist (a columnist for the Washington Post) and dissident (someone with a different view about how things should be run). Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi secret police under the orders of the crown prince.
Have You Heard About Sportswashing?
Sportswashing is a term used to describe the motivation for repressive regimes like Russia and Saudi Arabia to buy high profile sports events and teams. Chelsea FC is owned by the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. Putin’s Russia getting hold of the FIFA Word Cup, via the well-known bribing of officials. Qatar winning the rights to the 2022 FIFA World Cup – Australia knows all about that process, just ask Frank Lowy. The Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has just led a consortium to buy Newcastle United FC. Sportswashing associates these corrupt regimes with football teams and sporting events that we, in the West, love. Hitler proudly presented the Nazi regime to the world at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
Playing golf in places like Saudi Arabia is not a good idea. Having the best golfers on the planet competing for prize money in these countries run by corrupt and repressive regimes stains the sport. Golf, at the highest level, is a sport, which prides itself on the millions it raises for charity. Things like the Saudi Golf League will sully the reputation of the game. Golf is already associated with obscenely wealthy people like Donald Trump, to the detriment of the brand. You cannot, just, take the money and turn your back on all the bad things happening there. 81 Human beings executed in 1 day in Saudi Arabia and how many of them were merely dissidents who didn’t agree with how things were being run? Nobody is playing golf in the Ukraine at the moment. You cannot just turn away from the things you don’t want to see, Greg Norman.