Jun 8, 2023 - Sports

Dallas golfer DeChambeau suggests 9/11 families forgive Saudis

Bryson DeChambeau was once called the PGA Tour's geekiest golfer because he studied physics at SMU. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Dallas golfer Bryson DeChambeau suggested that the families of 9/11 victims should move forward, "especially in forgiveness," during a CNN interview this week.

  • DeChambeau was reportedly paid more than $125 million to join the LIV Golf tour, which is funded by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund.

Why it matters: 9/11 Families United, an organization comprising family members of 9/11 victims, has accused Saudi leaders of "sportswashing" — spending billions of dollars to "cleanse the Saudi reputation" after that country funded terrorism and "spread their vitriolic hatred of Americans."

Driving the news: The PGA Tour and LIV Golf, the Saudi-backed breakaway tour, agreed Tuesday to merge in a deal that shocked the sports world.

What they're saying: The PGA and its commissioner — who had invoked 9/11 families while criticizing the LIV tour before the merger — have become "paid Saudi shills," said 9/11 Families United Chair Terry Strada, whose husband, Tom, died in the World Trade Center's North Tower.

The other side: "We'll never be able to repay the families back for what exactly happened just over 20 years ago, and what happened is definitely horrible," DeChambeau said during the interview with CNN's Kaitlan Collins. "We're in a place now where it's time to start trying to work together to make things better together as a whole."

  • "I'm not going to get into the politics of it," DeChambeau continued. "I'm not specialized in that. What I can say is [the Saudis are] trying to do good for the world, and showcase themselves in a light that hasn't been seen in a while, and nobody's perfect, but we're all trying to improve in life."
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