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'Nobody's perfect': Bryson DeChambeau defends Saudi Arabia in spirited CNN interview

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Rob Carr

As both Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson have come to find out, glossing over Saudi Arabia's past transgressions in the human rights department is a losing battle. "They're working on getting better" doesn't hold much weight with families of 9/11 victims, among others negatively affected by the Saudi regime.

Bryson DeChambeau, who, like Mickelson and Norman, is one of the faces of LIV Golf, did not learn from Lefty or the Shark's mistakes on that front, evidently. On Tuesday evening, long after finding out the shocking merger news like the rest of us did, the Crushers GC captain went on CNN with anchor Kaitlan Collins to discuss arguably one of the biggest days in golf history. DeChambeau, like a number of other big-time LIV names, seemed thrilled with the announcement. 

"What you're seeing now is that it's finally come to a place where, the PGA Tour realized it, LIV realized it, we all realize that we're better together, and not apart," DeChambeau told Collins. 

Collins proceeded to shift the conversation to the statement from 9/11 Families United, which stated that "The PGA Tour and Jay Monahan appear to have become just more paid shills, taking billions of dollars to cleanse the Saudi reputation." This same group sent a similarly strongly-worded letter to the agents of DeChambeau, Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed on June 10, 2022. In it, Terry Strada, a September 11th widow, asked the LIV golfers to "please, do not insult our loved one’s memories and take the pathetic position, as one of your foreign colleagues did last week, claiming you are 'just golfers playing a game' or blandly treating the evils of the Saudi regime as 'human rights' concerns."

On Tuesday night, DeChambeau more or less took that exact stance. 

"I think we'll never be able to repay the families back for what exactly happened just over 20 years ago," he said. "And what happened is definitely horrible. I think as time has gone on, 20 years is passed and we're in a place now where it's time to start trying to work together to make things better together as a whole. 

"I don't know exactly what [the 9/11 families] are feeling, I can't ever know," he added. "But I have a huge amount of respect for their position and what they believe, nor do I want anything like that to ever occur again. I think as we move forward from that we've got to look towards a pathway to peace, especially in forgiveness, especially if we're trying to mend the world and make it a better place. I think this is what they're trying to accomplish, what LIV is trying to accomplish, the PIF is trying to accomplish, what we're all trying to accomplish is a better world for everybody. And a way to provide great entertainment for everybody around the world."

Collins interjected by asking if it makes him uncomfortable that Saudi Arabia has also been accused of financing terrorism and murdering Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi. 

"It's unfortunate what's happened, but it's something I can't necessarily speak on because I'm a golfer," he said. "What I can say is, what they're trying to do, what they're trying to work on is to be better allies. I'm not going to get into the politics of it, I'm not specialized in that. What I can say is they are trying to do good for the world and showcase themselves in a light that hasn't been seen in awhile. 

"Nobody's perfect," DeChambeau added. "But we're all trying to improve in life."

The full interview can be viewed below: