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5 Aug 2022

Tyler Lauletta, Insider

Saudi Arabia: Golfers accept multimillion dollar offers from Saudi-backed LIV Golf amid "sportswashing" controversy

"LIV Golf has brought 'sportswashing' into everyday conversation. But what is the Saudi government really doing and why should people care?", 2 Aug 2022

After decades of dominance by the PGA Tour, some of the best players in the world have now jumped to a new league — LIV Golf. Backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, LIV Golf was able to draw the likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Brooks Koepka away from the PGA Tour with huge purses, even bigger guaranteed paydays, and a lighter schedule.

The new league, and the players that have made the jump over, have come under scrutiny, particularly due to the source of the cash that is supporting the breakaway project. Given Saudi Arabia's history of human rights violations...critics have decried the new league as a blatant act of "sportswashing" — an attempt by the Saudi government to launder its image on the international stage by co-opting people's love of sport.