June 22, 2023

Will the PGA Tour-LIV Golf deal sportswash Saudi's reputation?

Not that long ago PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan said this about Saudi-backed LIV Golf.

“It’s not an issue for me because I don’t work for the Saudi Arabian government, but it probably is an issue for the players who chose to go and take that money," Jay Monahan says.

Then, all of a sudden, Monahan's dismissiveness turned into an enthusiastic embrace.

“To be able to say that we’re now on a path of unification. … To be able to have a partner that can invest back in the fan experience … is very exciting.”

The PGA-LIV Golf merger deal is meant to help the sport. But some analysts say, the real help is going to Saudia Arabia... they say the Kingdom is trying to "sportswash" its international reputation.

“The thing is, you can't undo the stains, but what you can do is obscure how visible those stains are," Sarath Ganji says.

Listen to the full episode from WBUR On Point.