Analysis: LIV Golf-PGA Tour Merger Is About Profit Above All

The governor of the Saudi investment fund, Yasir al-Rumayyan, now is set to become chairman of the board of a worldwide umbrella company so new it has not even been given a name.

The merger is about sports, yes, but also about power and values in the world.

In Saudi Arabia, citizens do not enjoy the right to free assembly. The legal system is not independent. Due process is a farce. To speak against the government is to risk being jailed, tortured or killed.

When Khashoggi, a journalist for The Washington Post, dared to speak against the repressive state, he was lured to a Saudi consulate in Istanbul. A United Nations report described how he was drugged and cut into pieces.

Who did it? According to the C.I.A., thugs operating on orders from Mohammed bin Salman — the crown prince who oversees everything in his kingdom, including the investment fund that will wield enormous influence over world golf.

The United States has its own moral failings, plenty of them, and has since the nation’s founding. But we confront them publicly. We protest. We march. The press speaks up. We vote.

Plenty of golfers and fans will block out the seamy side of this story and look purely on the bright side. The new tour hopes to make golf more global, more accessible, less fusty and more exciting. The same golfers ostracized by many of the sport’s star players and banished from the regular PGA Tour upon leaving it — including Mickelson, the chief renegade, and Koepka, recent winner of the a major tournament, the P.G.A. Championship — could return to the fold.

And indeed, none of that can be bad for fans — or sponsors.

But to look only on the bright side is to condone the hypocrisy.

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