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9/11 families protest LIV Golf tournament at Trump’s Bedminster club. Others revel in revenue boost

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The families of victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in New York and Washington D.C. are protesting a LIV Golf tournament set to tee off this afternoon at former President Donald Trump’s club in Bedminster, New Jersey. But not everyone is opposed to the tournament coming to town.

As 48 golfers tee off at the Trump National Golf Course Bedminster, several dozen protesters were just down the street letting their objections known. LIV Golf is funded by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, and these family members accuse the Saudi Arabian government of sports washing the kingdom’s reputation, and its alleged ties to the 9/11 terror attacks.  

Family members recounted times when the former president met with them and spoke about what he believed was Saudi involvement in the attacks. One survivor said Trump and the players, by participating in this league, are accepting “blood money” from the Saudis.  

“I see these golfers dodge questions, put their head in the sand…and just say ‘golf is for the greater good’ or ‘I’m doing this for my family,’” said Brett Eagleson, “Well, my dad went to work that day, providing for his family, and he got blown away.”

Joanne Barbara was there on behalf of her late husband, Assistant FDNY Chief GerardBarbara, who was killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center.

“We don’t forget…We live with it every single day of our lives and the fact that they are able to come into our sports venues – this is just the beginning,” she said.  

Despite the objections, many New Jersey residents are welcoming the tournament with open arms, including the Bernards Township Regional Chamber of Commerce. As a “regional” chamber, they work with small businesses in Bedminster, as well as Bernards. They’re calling the tournament being in this town “an honor.”

The chamber president says the league brings a fresh approach to tournament play, along with a commitment to bring increased revenues to many local businesses. He says everyone, from players and caddies to officials and fans, will bring dollars into the local economy.

“Come out and see the greater area while you are here,” says Al LiCata, president of Bernards Township Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We have great historic sites. We have a lot of Revolutionary stuff. We are crossroads of the revolution here. So take a chance. visit our shops, restaurants. Our hospitality industry is great.”

He, along with members, are hoping this tournament will make up for the loss of the PGA Championship, which was moved from Bedminster to Tulsa.

The chamber says that was a huge revenue loss to this area and combined with the effects of COVID-19 on the business community, it hit many industries hard, including food and hospitality, retail and beauty and health care. 

They look at the LIV as an investment in the businesses, the area and the state. 

The PGA pulled the tournament from Trump’s club four days after the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6.