BET À DAY
Our reporter who wrote about the PGA and LIV Golf merger, received an amazing email. Dave (fictitious name) calls her a subsidized activist, woke, crazy and angsty who can't help but talk about pollution even in a sports text.
Our journalist wrote this in his text: “Saudi Arabia, despite being known for flouting human rights while being considered one of the countries (second largest oil producer in world) the most polluting on the planet, won his bet.
We sometimes receive emails like that and we don't care. But there was something that fascinates me about this one. It's because Dave represents a vision that we see a lot in relation to this whole file, namely the total indifference of the actions of Saudi Arabia.
As if, in sports, we shouldn't talk about it. Money leads and that is life. Let's just talk about what's happening on the ground. Media everywhere are being told to stop pestering readers' ears with stories of Saudi Arabia's dirty money.
This indifference is precisely Saudi's goal. saudi. This is sportwashing. The country is restoring its image by being present everywhere to make people forget the internal atrocities. And Dave isn't the only one who thinks like that.
Golf, Formula 1, soccer, Disney, Microsoft, Boeing, Uber and even in the Canadian empire from Montreal: Saudi Arabia arrives everywhere through its Public Investment Fund (PIF). This controversial fund for its opacity would amount to 620 billion dollars.
The famous PIF
The PIF became this week the major sponsor of the PGA. Officially, the PIF is a separate entity from the Government of Saudi Arabia. But in fact, not at all.
It is not complicated, it is a fund which is generated with the profits of the country with oil and which is invested all over the world. This fund does not really have a duty of transparency.
It is headed by the despot Mohammed bin Salman, who is also the crown prince and prime minister of Saudi Arabia. In other words, the PIF is a branch of the government of Saudi Arabia, but placed in an opaque structure without too many constraints for the administrators.
So it is Saudi Arabia that we encourage when we go to watch the PGA, and not an independent Saudi fund.
Not just a polluter
And Saudi Arabia, yes, it is a big polluter. But since Steve (the one who wrote to our journalist) doesn't care, here are some other things not too chic with Saudi Arabia that can be read on the Amnesty International website.
Last year, a Saudi court sentenced 15 people to between 15 and 45 years in prison for exercising the right to freedom of expression, including some for speaking out on Twitter. < /p>
On August 9, 2022, the same court sentenced Salma al-Shabaab, a doctoral student and activist, to 34 years in prison for posting peaceful messages on Twitter.
In fact, it is simply prohibited in Saudi Arabia to demonstrate as a group to denounce human rights abuses. It is the law.
Also last year, courts sentenced several people to death in “obviously” trials. unfair. Two were minors.
In March 2022, the country executed 81 men. Some of the offenders had been found guilty of “undermining the social fabric and national cohesion” and “participation in and incitement to protests”.
Saudi authorities have arbitrarily detained migrant women and children from Ethiopia, among others, and subjected them to torture. These people were held in overcrowded cells without sufficient access to food, water, sanitation or health care. At least 12 people died this way last year.
The supervision of men
All of this is not to mention the rights of women. I don't need to develop much, it's atrocious. Women are considered minors all their lives and are under the supervision of men who must authorize their decision to work or educate themselves, for example. Men are guardians of women.