More LIV golfers are ruining their reputations because they play sports washing up for Mohammed bin Salman

BEDMINISTER, NJ – The traveling circus named Saudi LIV Golf has reached the biggest of the great peaks, owned by ex-man Donald Trump. He is supposed to come on Thursday to play in the professional match, Then he lent his world-renowned reputation for credibility, honesty, class and dignity to trying to make something out of nothing over three days of show-style, uncut, low-energy, mostly nameless.

LIV Golf and Trump, together, a match made somewhere. What could possibly go wrong?

Let’s ask Paul Casey, the 45-year-old and five-time European Ryder Cup winner, who took part in Wednesday’s press conference with a reputation as a gullible man who never asked a question he didn’t like and was left by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed. Bin Salman’s favorite new sports washer.

When LIV golfers meet the press, they should now know what’s coming: Questions about leaving their old jobs on the PGA Tour for new jobs taking millions from the Saudi government’s Public Investment Fund, controlled by Mohammed bin Salman, which halted the 2018 murder and dismemberment Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, according to human rights organizations and US intelligence agencies.

They were also asked about the fact that Osama bin Laden and 15 of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, which was all the more relevant this week because Ground Zero is only an hour’s drive from Trump National Golf Club, and The 9/11 families have been relentless in reminding us, rightly, to connect.

Alison Crowther, Matthew Bocchi and Terry Strada of Families United 9/11 address the media during a press conference about their opposition to the LIV golf tournament this week.

Alison Crowther, Matthew Bocchi and Terry Strada of Families United 9/11 address the media during a press conference about their opposition to the LIV golf tournament this week.

So far, both Phil Mickelsons and Dustin Johnsons have largely failed to answer any question and instead have fallen back on how they are working to grow golf and make the world a better place for golfers or other important people.

In this context, I thought Casey might have an idea or two about using the platform he got on the Saudi payroll to influence Mohammed bin Salman and his cronies by speaking out to help Saudi women and the LGBT community.

“As you know, homosexuals are subject to the death penalty, and it is clear that women’s rights lag far behind men’s rights. … Are you now speaking out on these issues?”

This is how Casey answered. He said he played golf with a 17-year-old girl at a lecture at the Saudi Invitational earlier this year, and played with “another woman human rights lawyer”. Casey said the 17-year-old told him that things had “drastically changed for her and her family” since she played golf for the past two years.

Ah, the magic of golf. Hit a few golf balls and centuries of oppression are gone, at least for one young woman. Mohammed bin Salman could not have said it better.

What about LGBTQ rights?

“It’s not a topic I know enough to talk about,” Casey said.

Veteran Jason Kokrac, 37, was seated next to Casey. “Yes, I agree with Paul. I don’t know enough about the topic to talk about it, but I also played with that little girl—was she 15 or 17?”

This was banter, literally, between professional golfers, and world travelers, who lived a total of 82 years but had absolutely no idea how to say anything even remotely meaningful about the plight of women and LGBT people in Saudi Arabia.

After the press conference, Casey was surrounded by a group of reporters who had more questions for him. One came from, asking about the 9/11 families’ criticism of the LIV golf.

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“My heart goes out to all those who suffered loss and were affected by 9/11,” Casey said. “I have no words to describe the pain and sadness behind it, I have to go take a picture.”

Ah, the priorities. How appropriate is Casey now fully aligned with MBS. When he left the sad thought of the 9/11 families mid-sentence and went to take his picture, his name and reputation came out before.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: LIV golfers destroy their reputation in the sport of Mohammed bin Salman