Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund could pour up to $3 billion into professional golf as part of a sensational merger of the PGA and (formerly rebel) LIV tours. The deal is intended to end costly legal feuding between them and reunite the world’s best players in one tour. It lends what credibility the PGA still has to a regime that locks up women’s rights activists, dismembered the journalist Jamal Khashoggi and recently renewed guardianship laws that require women to get a male guardian’s consent to marry, require them to have sex once married and make fathers the default guardians of their children if divorced. The blindness of sports bodies and governments to analogies between past racial apartheid and present gender apartheid is striking. The sports washing power of the $650 billion Saudi Public Investment Fund, which is also buying up professional football, sweeps all before it.
Photograph Charlie Crowhurst/LIV Golf/Getty Images