Saudi Activist Calls on LPGA to not Collaborate with the Controversial LIV Golf

A prominent Saudi activist, Lina Alhathloul calls on the women’s tour to not attach themselves to the controversial tour following the statement of the LPGA commissioner that she is planning to hold meetings with Greg Norman about a potential collaboration with LIV.

LIV Golf is a professional golf tour that is operating as a direct rival of the PGA. Established only this year, the tour is already appealing to a huge number of players thanks to the massive prize pool of each of its tournaments. 

LIV has already caused the defections of multiple prominent players in the Golf world such as Cameron Smith, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, and Brooks Koepka. The PGA has put several sanctions on whoever switches to play for the controversial. It does little to hinder LIV as the Saudi-backed tour has already completed successful tournaments in various parts of the world.

Now LIV seems to be interested in collaborating with the leading women’s golf tour, the LPGA as well. Mollie Marcoux Samaan, the commissioner of LPGA, confirmed to the press in July this year that she is looking forward to meeting the CEO of LIV, Greg Norman to discuss a potential partnership. 

Her statement caused upsets in many among the golf scene as LIV is an extremely controversial tour with allegations that it is created to “sport-wash” the human rights violation occurring in Saudi Arabia. The most vocal among the dissenters of the possible future collaboration is Lina Alhathloul, a prominent Saudi activist.

Alhathloul is working as an advocate for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. Her sister was imprisoned by the Saudi authorities for campaigning for women’s rights. She is now urging the LPGA to rethink its decision of meeting with LIV officials.

“The general situation for women in Saudi Arabia has not improved, as the Saudi narrative suggests,” Alhathloul wrote on social media. “In reality, the male guardianship system is far from dismantling. Over the past few years, the Saudi authorities have lifted some of the restrictions women face under the country’s male guardianship system. “Still, the legal framework that treats adult women as minors continue to affect all aspects of women’s lives negatively and severely restricts their fundamental liberties.”

“I urge you to consider the human rights aspect of your potential involvement with LIV Golf and use your influence to positively raise the situation of women in the country and to publicly distance yourself from the Saudi regime,” she added.

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