In the US, sports are sacred. They’re a source of bringing excellence and inspiration to the world. The way we’ve built sports, they’ve become part of the backbone of what we stand for and who we are.
Recently there’s been a practice of “sportswashing”—where an individual, group, corporation, or government uses sport to improve their tarnished reputation. They host an event, purchase a sponsorship or a team, or participate in the sport itself.
The LIV Golf tour is a professional golf tour that’s financed by the “Public Investment Fund”—a sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia—which has a lot of oil money behind it. If someone shoots a 54 on this tour (which is virtually impossible), they’ll get $54 million. The PGA is up in arms about this, because they say they’re destroying golf by having this tour, and the PGA can’t compete with that.
In this episode, BT and I discuss:
- Why sportswashing might crush golf as we know it—and why other sports might be next
- How Saudi Arabia pumps money into a product (football—a.k.a soccer in the US) to make people forget about their transgressions, questionable activities, and human rights violations
- How we’ve seen sports being hosted in places with horrendous human rights records—like the Olympics in Russia , the Olympics in China, and soon the World Cup in Qatar
- How COVID changed everything, and more and more people are now playing golf]
- How the younger generation is being targeted by sportswashing, because they’re not very tied to the past, and they’re motivated by money
- Why people who are playing in the LIV Golf tour are receiving backlash for accepting “blood money—just by being paid by this Public Investment Fund from Saudi Arabia
- How most of the public doesn’t realize how much business we do with countries that have human rights violations—and how the US being beholden to China for products and services makes us prime for a takeover
I think the more our sports get stripped away in the US—and it becomes more about the money than the sport itself—eventually, we’ll get to the place where the sport doesn’t matter anymore. Before you know it, your favorite NBA team or professional football team might be owned by money that’s not coming from here.
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