Former Golfer Greg Norman Brushed Off A Journalist’s Murder Because “We’ve All Made Mistakes”
Norman has been slammed for 'sports washing' Saudi Arabia's history of human rights violations.
Australian former pro golfer Greg Norman has been slammed after dismissing questions over the murder and dismemberment of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi by asserting that “we’ve all made mistakes.”
Norman was laying out plans for a massive $255 million LIV Golf Invitational Series — funded by Saudi sovereign wealth fund The Public Investment Fund (PIF) — on Wednesday night when he was questioned by journalists over sportswashing.
Specifically, the series is being financially supported by the PIF of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been implicated in the 2018 murder and dismemberment of Khashoggi.
“Everybody has owned up to it, right? It has been spoken about, from what I’ve read, going on what you guys reported,” said Norman. “Take ownership, no matter what it is. Look, we’ve all made mistakes and you just want to learn from those mistakes and how you can correct them going forward.”
For those unfamiliar, Khashoggi — a US-based journalist and prominent critic of the Saudi Arabian government who covered major stories including the invasion of Afghanistan and the rise of Osama Bin Laden for a number of news organisations. He was murdered on 2 October 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul at the order of bin Salman — according to a CIA intelligence report. Bin Salman has denied the allegations but took “full responsibility” as the country’s leader.
Norman Doesn’t “Look Into The Politics”
In addition to brushing off Khashoggi’s murder, Norman simply said he doesn’t “look into the politics of things” when asked about the execution of 81 men in Saudi Arabia earlier this years.
“I got a lot of messages, but quite honestly, I look forward,” said Norman. “I don’t look back. I don’t look into the politics of things. I’m not going to get into the quagmire of whatever else happens in someone else’s world. I heard about it and just kept moving on.”
Sportswashing is hardly a new concept, and this isn’t even the first time the Saudi PIF has been used to invest in high-profile sporting events in an attempt to sweep its alleged human rights violations under the rug.
When PIF purchased an 80 percent share in English Premier League club Newcastle United last year, Amnesty International stressed that “an association with top-tier football is a very attractive means of rebranding a country or person with a tarnished reputation.”