Saudi Arabia is attempting to repair its reputation with the world after decades of bloody human rights violations. The future king of the nation, Mohammed bin Salman, is directly responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi national who was a journalist for The Washington Post and under U.S. protection. So, what’s the best way for a nation with decades of human rights violations to make friends with the rest of the planet again? Stop abusing human rights? Of course not. No, the best way is to engage in sports. Saudi Arabia is “sportwashing” its reputation.
The oil-rich kingdom has bought an English Premier League soccer team, Newcastle United. They built a new race track in Jeddah and now have the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, a Formula One racing event. World Wrestling Entertainment has been holding pay-per-view events in Saudi Arabia, even allowing the kingdom to decide if women can perform and if they do, how they dress. And, now the kingdom has golf.
A lot of people are upset over Saudi Arabia becoming involved in international sports. Mostly, they’re upset that so many people have a price to look away from human rights violations. The PGA is very upset over the new golf league, though their anger is probably less about human rights and more about competition.
The PGA has banned golfers who choose to play for LIV. That didn’t stop golf legend Greg Norman from becoming LIV’s CEO.
Another golf legend, Phil Mickelson, criticized Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and called the Saudis “scary motherfuckers to be involved with.” They are so scary that it takes about $200 million to get over that fear. That’s the reported contract Mickelson signed to join LIV golf.
Mickelson said, “I don’t condone human rights violations. I don’t know how else I can be any more clear.” Ooh, ooh, ooh…I know! You could be more clear that you don’t condone human rights violations by NOT taking blood money from Saudi Arabia. But maybe I just don’t understand golf.
Even though I don’t understand golf that well, I do understand that you don’t go into business with people who take a bone saw and dismember their critics. I try not to go into business with scary motherfuckers. I have the same policy of not going into business with Trumpers. I’m still owed over $2,000 the last time I did that (though I went into that agreement not realizing they were MAGAts).
It’s no surprise that Vince McMahon, the founder of the WWE and creator of Wrestlemania has a price to overlook human rights violations. I mean, this guy has been making billions for decades in an industry that sends his performers to early graves. Seriously, wrestlers have a habit of dying before 60. And it’s no surprise that Donald Trump has a price to ignore human rights violations. He displayed that when he was gooning up the White House and hosted MBS in the Oval Office. And since the PGA does have somewhat of a conscience and has pulled out of holding tournaments at Trump’s crappy golf resorts over his racism and insurrections, he has no problem taking LIV’s blood money to host a tournament at Doral.
You’re probably familiar with Trump National Doral in Miami by its catchphrase, “Ask us about our bedbugs.” That resort has been in financial decline for years. In 2019, it was reported that its operating income had fallen by 69 percent. Being the grifter he is, Trump tried to host the G7 Summit at Doral. Trump’s name is about as enticing as the opportunity to sleep with bedbugs.
Grifting runs in the family. After four years of making excuses for Saudi Arabia’s murders and helping them procure arms deals with the U.S, Jared Kushner has been given $2 billion as an “investment” from the Saudis. Now, his wife’s father gets his kickback from the Saudi government.
Normally, the only way Trump can pump cash into Doral is by holding campaign events, funded by the Trump Campaign, which is funded by his supporters. Before you label Trump as a genius grifter, keep in mind that the people he’s grifting are morons. Doral is also the home for the $10,000 portrait of Trump he bought for himself with money from the Trump charity.
How much is Trump being paid by MBS to host one of their crappy golf tournaments at Club Itchy-n-Scratchy (I bet you a MyPillow none of the Saudi royals actually spend the night at Doral)? I don’t know yet but don’t make a mistake about it. This is a bribe. And, it’s a legal bribe. The Saudi monarchs are paying Trump off for all he did for them while he was president (sic). His first foreign trip as “president” was to Saudi Arabia. Remember the sword dance and Trump with and the royals next to the creepy glowing globe?
Saudi money goes a long way. You saw how easy it was for Phil Mickelson to go from “scary mothers” to “pay me.” Now even President Biden, pressured by oil prices, has gone from promising to make Saudi Arabia a pariah to planning a visit to the nation where he’ll probably sit down for a chat with Captain Bonesaw himself, Mohammed bin Salman.
Don’t expect Saudi Arabia to comply with basic human rights any time soon.
Music Note: This one took a while to draw so I had time to listen to music. I listened to a lot of Foo Fighters because I discovered their B-sides and demos, which I haven’t listened to in about two decades because they’ve been hard to find, are now on Apple Music.
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