The president of the National Press Club criticizes the television broadcast agreement between LIV Golf and the CW Network

The president of the National Press Club criticizes the television broadcast agreement between LIV Golf and the CW Network

National Press Club president Jen Judson condemned The CW’s decision to broadcast the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Tournament on her network in a statement released Friday.

Judson said the organization was “deeply disappointed” by the multi-year deal reached between LIV Golf and The CW, which is primarily owned by Nextar Media Group, to televise 14 events for LIV’s second season.

“We are deeply disappointed that a company that makes money from news like Nexstar would agree to participate in such an embarrassing public relations stunt like LIV Golf,” Judson said in the statement.

The television contract is the first of its kind for LIV Golf, which remains mired in controversy.

Greg Norman, left, would move upstairs if Mark King is hired as LIV Golf

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The Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth investment fund and one of the largest in the world, has backed and is financing LIV Golf Investments, the parent company of LIV Golf. As the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman is the head of the PIF. According to a declassified US intelligence report released in February 2021, Salman approved an operation “to capture or kill” Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi inside a Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.

The Saudi government is accused of other human rights violations and has invested in Western sports opportunities in an apparent attempt to improve its image, a practice known as “sports laundering.”

“We are left with the question of what, if anything, Nexstar stands for,” Judson said in the statement. “You can’t have a brand in the news and act this way. Saudi Arabia murdered a Washington Post journalist and hacked him to death with a bone saw.”

Judson also urged Nextar employees to reject the deal and the company to “cancel your fucking golf show.”

Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) wants to use golf to make Americans forget about the murder,” he continued. “We must not let them get away with it. We call on Nexstar employees, many of whom are journalists, to demand that management explain why they partnered with the murderers of a journalist.

“And if they don’t leave the show, here’s what we can do: don’t watch it and write to every sponsor asking them not to sponsor.”

The first rounds of the LIV Golf schedule will take place February 24-26 and will be available to stream only on the CW app. The second and third rounds will air on the CW network, as well as on the app, on Saturdays and Sundays, according to the initial announcement.

The National Press Club is a global professional organization for journalists and has 3,000 members representing nearly every major news organization, according to its website.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: National Press Club President Criticizes LIV Golf, CW Network TV Deal

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