Trump Embraces LIV Golf, Backing a New Saudi Strategy

Jul 28, 2022

Donald J. Trump has long toyed with becoming a sports baron.

He tried for years to buy an N.F.L. franchise and was a face of a second-tier football league that collapsed. He backed a would-be rival to Major League Baseball that never materialized and briefly put his name on a race for elite cyclists.

Now, after decades of failure and rejection in sports, the former president is embracing an athletic gambit with an urgent craving for credibility: LIV Golf, the invitational series that has upended professional golf and, flush with money from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, is seen as another Saudi effort to use sports as a reputation sanitizer.

Coming as the former president weighs another White House campaign and as diplomats navigate a complex relationship strained by Saudi Arabia’s human rights record — including the 2018 murder of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a source of international outrage that Trump has repeatedly played down — the Trump family’s choice to welcome LIV Golf to two of its courses this year carries the starkest geopolitical overtones of any of Trump’s sports forays.

Source: The New York Times