9/11 Family Members to Speak Out Against Saudi-Backed Golf Tournament Held Just Outside Portland

The lead-up to the tournament at a private golf club in North Plains hasn’t been smooth.

Family members of victims who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center are objecting to the Saudi government-backed golf tournament being held this weekend at a private golf club just outside Portland.

The tournament, put on by newly formed LIV Golf, which is heavily funded by Saudi Arabia’s investment fund, is facing loads of backlash from local politicians and former members at the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, where the tournament commences this Thursday.

Relatives are expected to speak the same day, June 30, at a press conference at Veterans Memorial Park in North Plains.

Relatives of 9/11 victims have made repeated attempts to hold the Saudi Arabian interests financially responsible for the attack. The Saudi government has denied any involvement. Last fall, the White House declassified an FBI report that detailed links between the Islamist terrorists who carried out the World Trade Center attacks and Saudi nationals living in the U.S.

Critics of the tournament’s stop, ranging from U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to the mayor of North Plains, alongside other regional mayors, have rebuked the tournament. The Saudi investment arm has long been accused of “sport washing”—or putting massive funding behind international sports in order to divert attention away from human rights abuses.

Pumpkin Ridge is the first U.S. destination for the series. It’s owned by Texas-based Escalante Golf, founded by three former fraternity brothers.

Update: This post has been changed to reflect a new location for the 9/11 families’ press conference.