Phil Mickelson Responds to Fallout from Families of 9/11 after Joining Saudi Backed Golf League

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    Speaking at a press conference before the U.S. Open on Monday, Mickelson was asked for his response to a strongly-worded letter from 911familiesunited.org, a group comprised of victims' families and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The group has sent an open letter to officials of Mickelson, Kevin Na, and many others who are part of an organization backed by Saudi Arabia. The letter claimed that golfers assisted Saudi Arabia “whitewash” their involvement of the terrorist attack on 9/11.

    Mickelson expressed condolences for family members.

    “I want to remind all those who have grieved the loss of loved ones, or friends and family members in the attacks of 9/11 that I feel an overwhelming profound sympathy for their loss,” Mickelson said. “I cannot emphasize that enough. I have the greatest compassion and sympathy for them.”

    Terry Strada, 911familiesunited's national chairperson who lost her husband during the attack on the World Trade Center, specifically attributing the “depravity” Saudi Arabia showed when it was established as”the “support network” for the 9/11 hijackers.

    Strada wrote:

    As a liberated American I am extremely thankful for the choice to choose the company I work for and which one I perform my job for. I appreciate your freedom to pick the same. As a survivor of the 9/11 attacks, I'm driven to inform you about the severity of the crimes that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was involved when it sent agents of the government into this country to help build the support network needed by the terrorists.

    You might have been told the story that Osama bin Laden along with the other 19 hijackers who participated in September 11, were Saudis. They were the Saudis that propagated, and nurtured the evil, hateful Islamist idealism that led to the violent jihadists responsible for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Most shockingly, the kingdom is in denial of their actions, denying their involvement and absolving themselves of the obligation they owe. They are, however, your business partners, and to our dismay, it appears that you're happy to be doing business with them.

    In the light of Saudi Arabia's involvement to the tragic death of beloved relatives as well as wounded victims of 9/11 — We're astonished at how eager you are to help Saudi Arabia in disseminating the truth about this tragedy in their pursuit of respectability. If you're working in conjunction with Saudi Arabia and you agree with their outrageous omissions and in order to gain their credibility, they so desperately need and are willing to provide them with a massive amount to create. The Saudis do not care about the deep-rooted sportsmanship that golf has or its origins as a gentleman's activity founded on respect for each other and honesty. They're interested in using professional golf to discredit our image and will pay you in achieving this goal.

    Mickelson has been the subject of many criticisms since joining this Saudi-backed club. The springtime of this year the legend of golf claimed that a large number of journalists were denigrated by the murder by Washington Post reporter Jamal Kashoggi by Saudi officials. In an effort to make the Saudi-funded league more powerful, it is trying to get an argument in favor of the PGA Tour.

    “They killed [Washington Post reporter Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights,” Mickelson told his biographical writer during an interview, ESPN reports. “They execute people there because they are homosexual. Given all this, why should I take it up? It's because this is a once-in-a lifetime chance to alter the way you think the PGA Tour operates.”

    Mickelson apologized for his comments.

    The LIV Golf Invitational played its inaugural event last weekend in London.

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