Don’t Hate the Gamer, Hate the Game – Northern Star

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LIV Golf, whose name reflects its 54-hole format, is an emerging Saudi-funded professional golf league.

We shouldn’t shun professional golfers for leaving the PGA Tour for the Saudi LIV Golf League.

LIV Golf, whose name reflects its 54-hole format, is an emerging Saudi-funded professional golf league. The league has entered recent news following a string of players leaving the PGA Tour for massive LIV Golf contracts. Due to their change, these players received undue backlash.

While professional athletes often feel like larger-than-life figures, it’s important to remember that they’re no different to everyone else at heart. Like the rest of us, these gamers just want to put themselves in the best financial position for themselves and their families.

Dustin Johnson – one of the big names to sign with LIV – received over $100 million for his contract, according to the telegraph. Spotrac estimated his career earnings to be slightly higher $70 million with the PGA.

Another high-profile golfer to make the switch, Phil Mickelson, estimated he earned around $100 million from the PGA contract; however, he signed a deal for about double that amount with LIV, according to Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine.

Like employees of most other jobs, these players are leaving the PGA for better pay elsewhere; however, this is not the case for everyone.

One golfer who notably turned down a deal from LIV Golf was Tiger Woods. One of golf’s most recognizable figures, Woods was offered between $700 million and $800 million, according to LIV CEO Greg Norman. in an interview with Tucker Carlson.

Speaking at a press conference at the British Open last month, Woods said his colleagues were “turning their backs on what got them into this position”. Woods is not alone in criticizing these golfers as the subject has diverged from a sports subject to a political and moral one.

The criticism comes after several controversies regarding Saudi Arabia emerged.

Since 2015, the Saudi government has been engaged in a military conflict in Yemen which, according to the UN, has resulted in “the largest humanitarian crisis in the world”.

The Saudi government is also responsible for the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi was an outspoken critic of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who allegedly ordered the hit on Khashoggi, according to US intelligence.

The real question is whether these athletes have a moral obligation to refuse significant compensation because of the wrongdoings of the countries that write their checks. While it may be easier to see these faces and ridicule golfers, the greater powers at play should come under scrutiny.

The United States funded the conflict in Yemen by arming Saudi Arabia through arms deals. In 2019, Donald Trump vetoed a bill that would prevent the United States from reaching an arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth more than $8 billion. Last year, the Biden administration approved the sale of up to $650 million to Saudi Arabia. Moreover, Trump and Biden have done little or nothing about Khashoggi’s death for fear of a ruined relationship between the powers.

While one can certainly see a moral dilemma at play here, these golfers are being offered life-changing sums of money to do their job playing the sport. Our leaders not only have the ability, but also the direct responsibility to address issues like these. If we are to be upset, the athletes should not be the first to be shot, and instead we should focus our frustration on those in power who are paid to represent us.