GWINN: If Phil Mickelson Has to Apologize for Playing Golf in Saudi Arabia, Joe Biden Has to Apologize for the Olympics
A prominent American is apologizing for wanting to play sports in a land governed by a tyrannical and abusive regime, but it’s not the right American.
Or, at the very least, he’s not the only prominent American who should be apologizing.
Phil Mickelson apologized on Tuesday for remarks about his desire to play golf in a league backed by Saudi Arabia, a country known for its brutal repression of journalists, women, and pretty much anyone who refuses to adhere to its strict orthodoxy.
In an excerpt from an upcoming biography made public last week, Mickelson discussed his decision to become involved in a new Saudi-backed golf league.
“They killed [Washington Post reporter Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights,” Mickelson told the biographical author in an interview, ESPN reports. “They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”
Mickelson also told the author that the PGA likes to “pretend it’s a democracy, but it’s really a dictatorship.’
The PGA champ apologized for his remarks in a statement posted to Twitter.
“Although it doesn’t look this way now given my recent comments, my actions throughout this process have always been with the best interest of golf, my peers, sponsors, and fans,” the golf legend wrote.
A Statement from Phil Mickelson pic.twitter.com/2saaXIxhpu
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) February 22, 2022
In addition, Mickelson stressed that “the bigger issue is that I used words that I sincerely regret that do not reflect my true feelings or intentions.”
However, Mickelson stuck to his guns when it came to the need for the PGA to reform.
The golf legend known as “Lefty” explained that “golf desperately needs change, and real change is always preceded by disruption. I have always known that criticism would come with exploring anything new. I still chose to put myself at the forefront of this to inspire change, taking the hits publicly to do the work behind the scenes.”
So, Phil Mickelson apologizes for becoming involved in a sports event backed by a regime that oppresses gays and journalists, even though he’s only doing it to help “reshape” and reform the PGA.
Phil Mickelson stands on the 11th hole during the second round of The Farmers Insurance Open on the North Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course on January 27, 2022 in La Jolla, California. (Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Well, why is he apologizing? After all, doing business and playing sports in lands governed by brutal dictators in hopes of bringing about reform isn’t just a well-intentioned if, albeit naive strategy. It’s the official policy of the U.S. government.
If Joe Biden can ignore China’s brutal enslavement of its Muslim Uyghur population. If he can ignore China’s repression of Christians. If he can pretend away China’s brutality towards gays, journalists, Tibet, Hong Kong, and God knows who else to send American athletes to play sports in a communist police state. Why can’t Phil Mickelson play golf for a Saudi-backed league?
Joe Biden’s decision to put the American stamp of approval on China’s Genocide Games was borne of the exact same decision-making process that the Western world used when they allowed China in the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001: Yeah, they’re a little rough around the edges. But let’s do business with them. Everyone likes money. They’ll get rich, and they’ll change their ways.
Of course, who could have predicted that giving evil people billions of dollars wouldn’t have worked out?
But is what Mickelson is doing here any different?
Listen to what he’s essentially saying: Yeah, they bone saw journalists and killed gay people. But look, I think this is an opportunity to change people, and I’m going to do it.
This isn’t the Mickelson policy. This is the Biden policy. It’s the policy of virtually every globalist elite who has served as head of state in the Western world over the last 30 years.
The only difference is Mickelson is actually taking money away from the people he’s trying to change. In retrospect, a move might have paid bigger dividends with China than inviting them into the international good ol’ boys club.
U.S. President Joe Biden meets with China’s President Xi Jinping during a virtual summit from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, November 15, 2021. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Nevertheless, even if you believe what Mickelson did with the Saudis is wrong, and there are good arguments for thinking that. Is it worse than Biden sending hundreds of red, white, and blue-clad Americans to Beijing and putting our country’s stamp of approval on China’s Genocide Games?
Phil Mickelson is a private citizen. Does an American golf icon of his stature raise the profile of the Saudis in the golf world? Sure, to a degree. But Phil Mickelson isn’t using wrapping himself in the flag and claiming to represent America.
Joe Biden’s Olympians did that.
If playing games in foreign lands full of tortured souls or in leagues sponsored by regimes who torture them, in a naive attempt to change the way the world and/or corporations work is something that must be apologized for, so be it.
Just make sure Joe Biden apologizes as well.