WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators on Capitol Hill expressed concerns over the PGA Tour’s merger with Saudi-backed LIV Golf, particularly over human rights in the Middle Eastern nation.
“I was really sickened by it. I thought the PGA was taking a principled stand,” Sen. Tim Kaine told Fox News. “When I saw the news yesterday, I was really disappointed because it seems they set aside all the human rights objections that they had and just decided ‘okay, well, we can make more money if we go a different direction.'”
WATCH: SENATORS SOUND OFF ON SAUDI ARABIA’S HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD AFTER PGA-LIV MERGER
“Values don’t have price tags, and you out to stand for your values,” the Virginia Democrat added.
Tiger Woods turned down an offer between $700 million and $800 million to join LIV Golf. (David Cannon/Getty Images)
The PGA Tour, a nonprofit, and LIV announced the surprise merger Tuesday, ending months of intense litigation. Activists and a bipartisan swath of lawmakers criticized the agreement over Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, while others, including former President Trump and Phil Mickelson, praised the deal.
Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, said he wants to see the details of the agreement and ensure “there are no antitrust concerns.” Blumenthal also questioned whether there was an antitrust violation and said Congress may have an oversight role.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, said Saudia Arabia’s human rights issues makes her concerned about LIV Golf’s merger with the PGA Tour. (Jon Michael Raasch/Fox News Digital)
LIV has drawn criticism from human rights activists as well as 9/11 families over the golf organization’s backing from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. 9/11 Families United Chair Terry Strada said “PGA Tour leaders should be ashamed of their hypocrisy and greed” since the U.S.-based golf group aligned itself with victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks while fighting with LIV.
“The concerns I have are centered around all of the human rights abuses from the Saudis,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn told Fox News. “That should concern everyone.”
Isabelle McDonnell contributed to the accompanying video.