- Things could get very interesting at the LIV Golf event in Portland, Oregon.
- Many local mayors have voiced their frustrations with the event coming to town.
- Protests are expected at the first States-side LIV Golf event.
Portland, Oregon has been home to many protests (and the occasional riot) over the past year or so, and that trend is expected to continue this week as the city hosts the first States-side LIV Golf event ever.
The Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series has been on the receiving end of plenty of criticism, but things could escalate to a new level this week as LIV makes its United States debut at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.
According to the Associated Press, the North Plains, Oregon mayor as well as officials from surrounding cities have written Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club’s owner a letter expressing their concerns.
The mayor, other officials, and Oregon senator Ron Wyden are speaking out against LIV Golf and giving it the label of “sportswashing.”
“We oppose this event because it is being sponsored by a repressive government whose human rights abuses are documented. We refuse to support these abuses by complicitly allowing the Saudi-backed organization to play in our backyard,” the letter signed by North Plains Mayor Teri Lenahan and 10 other mayors from nearby cities.
“It’s just a page out of the autocrats’ playbook covering up injustices by misusing athletics in hopes of normalizing their abuses,” Wyden said.
Hit-And-Run Story Adds Anger Towards LIV Golf’s Portland Event
According to sports journalist John Canzano, 20 or so members dropped their membership at Pumpkin Ridge in response to the club hosting the LIV Golf event.
The members that dropped their membership, and the government officials voicing their frustrations, don’t agree with the politics of the whole thing. Oregon has very specific frustrations with the Saudis as well after a hit-and-run death of 15-year-old Fallon Smart happened in 2016.
“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.
While fans that do attend the tournament at Pumpkin Ridge are prohibited from displaying any political signs, odds are we’ll see some protesting in some capacity during the event.